Bill Introduced to Keep Facebook Passwords Private

Lawmakers consider a step to protect your social media privacy

18 May 2012

Move over SOPA! A new act called SNOPA is in the headlines. And this one is set to be a lot more likable: It would prevent companies from asking for your social media passwords.

When we asked whether you’d give employers your Facebook password in a recent blog post, the answer was a resounding “No!”  The post was about a controversial but increasingly popular practice in which interviewers ask job candidates for their social media passwords.

“That is stupid, dangerous, and from the company's angle useless,” wrote Richard Dambaugh in our comment section. “What use is password protection if you are forced to share it?” Peter Silverberg asked.

Another commenter, Ken, put it even more bluntly: “Hell no. I also would not tell them what church I attend, how much gas I use per week, what my eating habits are, or who I vote for. I would, however, sue them if I thought they would use my ‘Hell no’ against me. If they want to know this type of information, hire a private detective. As a side note, who would want to work for a Marxist organization such as this?”

Now, a U.S. bill has been introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D-Ill.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) to prevent employers from asking for your social media passwords.  The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) would prohibit employers from requiring a username, password, or any other access to your private online content. SNOPA would also bar them from denying employment to those who refuse to give up such information.

“The American people deserve the right to keep their personal accounts private," Schakowsky said in a news release. "No one should have to worry that their personal account information, including passwords, can be required by an employer or educational institution, and if this legislation is signed into law, no one will face that possibility.”

What do you think about SNOPA?


Photo: iStockphoto

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