In a statement on Facebook's official blog, chief privacy officer Erin Egan wrote, "As a user, you shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job."
She also pointed out that employers are opening themselves up to discrimination lawsuits if, for example, they access a potential employee's Facebook account and discover that the candidate is a member of a legally protected class.
But Facebook users aren't the only ones who could potentially sue employers. Egan said that Facebook would also consider lawsuits if necessary.
"We'll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges," she wrote.
Some of those policymakers are already taking steps to address the issue. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently announced that he's drafting legislation that would ban employers from asking for social networking and email passwords.