Talking social: Facebook warns employers seeking user passwords; Zynga’s secondary offering

A couple of follow-ups about two stories we’ve been following this week, both about social.

Facebook has weighed in on the growing buzz about employers seeking logins and passwords of job candidates, and it’s talking tough. “We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action,” said the Menlo Park company in a blog post Friday. As we mentioned Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is writing a bill to outlaw what seems to be a growing practice. (See Quoted: on Facebook profiling by the workplace — and the law.) Other law and/or employment experts have said the practice invades the privacy of social-media users. “It’s like saying, ‘Can I read your personal diary?” Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, told the Mercury News’ Steve Johnson in a January article.

Zynga has also spoken this morning, by way of an SEC filing. Among the San Francisco social-games maker’s shareholders who are selling their shares in a secondary offering are CEO Mark Pincus, who is selling 15 percent of his shares, investor Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn fame and others, according to Bloomberg. The company announced almost a couple of weeks ago that it would sell up to $400 million worth of stock to “facilitate an orderly distribution of shares.” What that means, the Associated Press said, is that the company is trying to avoid a massive sell-off of its stock once the post-IPO lockup period expires in May.

The company’s shares are taking a hit Friday, though. They’re down about 4 percent to $13.20 as of this post.

Zynga also revealed in the filing that it paid $180 million for OMGPOP, maker of the hit game “Draw Something.” That deal was announced this week, driving up the company’s shares Thursday.


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