Asking for Facebook password from employees is just plain wrong

Recently a very provocative method was being used by a few employers. They asked the candidate who was looking for a job with them either to reveal their password or to make a friend with a Human Resources employee(so that they can know about what candidate shared on Facebook) or ask them to co-surf Facebook. I find this practice strange. It is really antithetical to the employee-employer relations. This is invasion of privacy at a minimum and a sort of blackmail at the maximum. I have seen people expressing strong opinion about this practice but I doubt how many of the employees would be able to stand this request in the present economical climate. This is a very wrong step . It can open employee’s sensitive details to folks sitting in office and it could haunt them later or open them to ridicule if anything uncomfortable though strictly within company policies is leaked by accident.

Would you like to work in these organization?

Imagine a company where all your details are known to strangers, who keep a file on you. This file can be passed to the next manager of human resource and there might be no end to how many people will know almost everything about you. There might be an argument about “that if you have nothing to hide why can’t you show it”. Well its a slippery slope which start with questioning about educational credentials and then ending with the reason why someone ended up in divorce. No one would be comfortable revealing that. That is why this information is called as private. Here are the questions, a company checking on personal detail needs to ask itself.
  1.  What would be the vision at such company? Would it be about respecting privacy of its employees?.
  2. Would these company be among most loved and respected companies?
  3. Would any self respecting employee want to work over at such a company?
  4. Would the company be able to drive an ethical agenda about keeping customer’s details secret when their own policies are not privacy friendly?
  5. What if the employees themselves are also customers of the company?

Build a company that is based on trust, not on suspicion

It is not to say that employee’s credentials need not be checked. Professional credentials including for example projects they did, companies they worked for and others needs to be verified but then it needs to stop there. Whether the employee drinks two glasses of beer a day or he posted his views about something controversial privately should not be concern of a company. If we do not stop now we risk ruining the concept of freedom of speech and right of privacy to a person. The reasons that workplaces are difficult to work for is that they are full of politics and wrong implementation of policies, under-recognition of employees. I think a better way needs to be improve the morale, due to which employees believe in their work and workplace. Trust is the costliest commodity and it has to be gained both ways. Let me know your opinion about sharing password with employers?

Image: pal2iyawit /