Senators and Congressmen Introduce Password Protection Act of 2012 Senators introduced legislation aimed at curbing the growing practice of employers requiring prospective or current employees to provide access to password-protected accounts as a condition for employ
PoliticalNews.me - May 12,2012 - Senators and Congressmen Introduce Password Protection Act of 2012
(Washington DC) – Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation aimed at curbing the growing practice of employers requiring prospective or current employees to provide access to password-protected accounts as a condition for employment. In the House, Congressmen Heinrich (D-NM) and Perlmutter (D-CO) are introducing an identical companion bill.
The Password Protection Act of 2012, drafted in consultation with major technology companies and legal experts, addresses this problem by enhancing current law to ensure that compelling or coercing employees into providing access to data stored in private accounts is prohibited.
“Employers seeking access to passwords or confidential information on social networks, email accounts, or other protected Internet services is an unreasonable and intolerable invasion of privacy,” said Blumenthal. “With few exceptions, employers do not have the need or the right to demand access to applicants’ private, password-protected information. This legislation, which I am proud to introduce, ensures that employees and job seekers are free from these invasive and intrusive practices.”
“Employers don’t ask job applicants for their house keys or bank account information – why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of their private information?” said Schumer. “That is why we’re introducing legislation to stop this disturbing practice in its tracks before this invasion of privacy becomes widespread. In an age when more and more of our personal information – and our private social interactions – are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers, especially during the job-seeking process.”
“Online privacy lives and dies with your password, and being forced to surrender this level of protection to an employer for fear of retribution is bullying, plain and simple. The online password protects your social life, personal information and often your bank accounts and no employer should be able to demand that this information be turned over,” said Wyden.
“This is about the right to privacy,” said Klobuchar. “No person should be forced to reveal their private online communications just to get a job. This is another example of making sure our laws keep up with advances in technology and that fundamental values like the right to privacy are protected.”
“Employers should have no more right to online passwords than they would to a person’s lending history at the library or a diary in their home,” Shaheen said. “As Facebook and other websites become an increasingly important part of the daily lives of millions of people, we must be vigilant in protecting online privacy. This legislation provides an important safeguard for all Americans.”
“Employers demanding Facebook passwords or confidential information on other social networks is an egregious privacy violation and should be against the law,” said Heinrich. “Personal information like race, religion, age, and sexual orientation