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Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords 247

An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a similar bill introduced last month. A group of Democrats today introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to prevent employers from forcing employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. In other words, Maryland may soon not be the only state that has banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones."
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Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords

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  • Re:10 Amendment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:03PM (#39948451)

    Business practices that seem to want to coerce people to provide information they normally would not do for their job, or to actively violate laws (e.g., federal laws that prohibit, at least in letter, sharing of passwords for online resources) in order to interview for a job, things like that? You know, laws that the Congress passed in the first place?

    Shouldn't take too much lobbying by US Chamber of Commerce, et al, to make sure this bill doesn't even make it out of committee or otherwise dies a quiet procedural death. But, because it's sponsored by (D)'s, even if it did make it to the floors, it's going to be voted down just because.

  • As an applicant, you are not yet an employee. If they want to demand that I give them that information after I am an employee, and I refuse, I would not be surprised if there can be a wrongful termination lawsuit.
  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:24PM (#39948631)

    Yeah, it didn't make sense. After reading the article, it was clearly a typo, and should have said "from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer". Ie. employers can still demand you hand over passwords on *their* systems, which seems reasonable enough.

  • Re:Summary Confusion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:28PM (#39948665)

    Actually, from TFA it sounds like they meant to say it prevents employers from accessing personal information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer. I'm pretty sure the intent is that an employer should still be able to access and demand passwords to servers it owns, even if the employee runs them, etc, and anything else is none of their business.

  • Re:Game it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:29PM (#39948687)

    the constant stream of news about police brutality, unjust situations, erosion of rights, destruction of the economy, etc., etc. has left me hopeless, with only the prospect of gaming the system instead of fighting it.

    Not me. These things have made me start looking for jobs outside the USA.

  • Re:And now.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @08:30PM (#39949163)

    Pretty hard to do considering I don't have a Facebook account. If they want to make having a social media presence a condition of employment, I guess that's just not the job for me...

    I seriously don't understand why people even admit to having one to a prospective employer in the first place. Kids, just say no! Worst case scenario, you don't get a job offer at a place that you probably wouldn't want to work at anyway.

    Let's not pretend, though, that something like this is going to modify employer behavior in any way. I know people in HR that have using Facebook as an unofficial reference on potential applicants since not long after it was open to non-edu accounts. Proving this in court, especially in a discrimination case, is a pipe-dream. No lawyer would take the case in the first place.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good thing to have actual regulations on the books if it helps the .000001% of cases that actually get brought to trial. I'm just too realistic to see this as any sort of panacea at all.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.