Most of the time there is nothing involved in my job that involves an ethical decision; I implement simple business rules for a wide variety of customers. However, Jeff Atwood identifies a perfect example of an ethical problem in his latest posting at Coding Horror - a website that isn’t your email provider asking for your email credentials.

I have been prompted for my email password on a few sites such as Yelp, FriendFeed, and LinkedIn. It is becoming more and more and more of a common occurance on all of these social sites. They all promise they aren’t saving your password but I don’t know these people so how can I trust them with my email password?

Jeff hits the nail on the head. Your email password is the skeleton key to all of your online locks. You give out that password and you have given out the password to every account you own because almost all online accounts will send your “forgotten” password to your email account.

I realize I’m not adding anything new to Jeff’s post but I thought it was important enough to reiterate and point people to it so they are aware of the issue.