by Jeremy Hill
New legislation presented by Senators Richard Blumenthal, Charles Schumer, Ron Wyden, Jeanne Shaheen, and Amy Klobuchar is aiming to prevent employers from ever demanding access to the password-protected online accounts of current or perspective employees. It’s called the Password Protection Act of 2012, and it carriers monetary penalties if violated.
Senator Schumer explained his reasoning behind supporting the Password Protection Act of 2012 by asking a simple question.
“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?” – Senator Charles Schumer
Under this legislation, employers will not be allowed to request the passwords of employees or punish employees for refusing to provide their passwords. It also retains the rights of employers as well. Employers will still be able to decide whether employees can access social networks, and set guidelines for using company computers.