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Old 29 November 2007, 07:31 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,659
Computer Companies can purchase all-access Facebook passwords

Comment: As a college student nearing entry into the job market, you hear a lot
of people talking about how Facebook is bad and can severly hurt your
prospects with companies. And much of this advice is true, you do need to
be cautious what you post to Facebook and how your privacy settings are
configured. But my question is how much access does corporate america
actually have to what is on Facebook. There is a rumor going around that a
company can purchase an all access password from Facebook, allowing them
to view anyone's profile regardless of how your security settings have
been set.
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Old 30 November 2007, 09:07 AM
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Short answer: Probably not.

Long answer: They probably don't need to.

The majority of Facebook users don't have private profiles, so they're readable anyway. For the rest, not only have there been periodic security holes (The most recent one I remember was a long-standing issue where a friends-only profile could still be viewed by people able to view any of your friends' profiles) that may or may not still be present, but the average number of "friend" Myspace and Facebook users have suggests many don't keep careful track of who they're adding.

Anyway, Facebook doesn't allow any accounts created on their servers to be used for commercial purposes (So the existence of all-access corporate accounts would violate their own terms of use). What they do, however, is handle requests for private data individually, and their standard for decision isn't very well defined in the terms of service or privacy policy.

Note: There was a follow up on Digg that I can't find now, the person in question had posted pictures of themselves with what looked like illegal weapons, though supposedly they were modified semiautomatic versions that were legal for civilian use. It's possible the information was released under the impression that it was a legal matter and not an employee background check, and that Facebook isn't usually so willing.
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