Senators Ask Feds to Investigate Facebook Employment Snooping Problem

Illustration for article titled Senators Ask Feds to Investigate Facebook Employment Snooping Problem

Last week Facebook responded to recent reports of employers asking prospective employees for their passwords. Now, US senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have both requested Attorney General Eric Holder investigates the problem.


Associated Press reports that the senators want to know if this practice violates the Stored Communications Act (SCA) or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The SCA provides fourth amendment-style online protection, while the CFAA prevents intentional access to data stored on a computer with authorization. This follows reports that Blumenthal was drafting a bill that would prohibit Facebook login detail requests. Speaking to Associated Press, Schumer offered the following statement:

"In an age where 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. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence."

Schumer and Blumenthal aren't alone in their concern; Maryland and Illinois are both considering bills that would prohibit the practice of employers requesting Facebook credentials, and senator Leland Yee also plans to introduce a bill along the same lines. It's good to see that it's not just us outraged over the problem. [Associated Press]


Dallas May

Again, if asked for your password at a job interview, simply say: "What I post on facebook will in no way impede my ability to perform the job description."

If pressed further, say: "My facebook page may or may not contain information about my age, race, family history, religion, medical history, marital status, or sexuality."

If pressed further, say: "I am not comfortable with this line of questioning." Complete the interview and report the company and interviewer to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In reality, companies should make it a policy to avoid their employees facebook pages at all, just for the reasons I mentioned above. Asking for a facebook password is a lawsuit waiting to happen.