Proposed Law Could Make It Illegal To Demand Access To Social Media Accounts

A new bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives would make it illegal for employers and other institutions to require Social Media passwords from their employees. 

A new bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives would make it illegal for employers and other institutions to require Social Media passwords from their employees. 

The bill, the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA), would protect current and prospective employees as well as individuals facing disciplinary action against schools, universities, and employers that would otherwise require them to provide user names, passwords, or other access to online content. It comes in the wake of media reports about job applicants being pressured to log into their social media accounts by prospective employers

The bill was introduced by Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09). It would prohibit employers, schools and universities from demanding such access and from disciplining, discriminating against or denying employment to individuals for refusing to volunteer such information.

“We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private. No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their user name and passwords to total strangers,” said Engel in a statement on his website. “They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education.”

After reports emerged that employers had been coercing job applicants to surf their social media profiles while recruiters watched, social networking giant Facebook responded by writing a new clause into its ‘statement of rights and responsibilities’ and warning that it would not hesitate to take legal or other action against employers that continued the practice.

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Discussion

  • Anonymous on

    So does that include government jobs because thats the employer that was asking for the access when this story broke months ago?

  • Anonymous on

    I am feeling that this is a good thing, yet also bad. Many americans losejobs for stuff they put on Facebook, so that's bad. But hey, if they don't want to get fired, don't post stupid $&17

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