Facebook Access Draws Congressional Heat

April 2nd, 2012 by JBWK

After gaining national attention (which we covered here) two U.S. Senators are requesting that the EEOC and the Justice Department investigate whether employers requesting applicants’ Facebook credentials violates federal law.

Senators Blumenthal and Schumer sent letters to the DOJ and EEOC asking them to investigate whether the access requests violate the federal Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Both laws essentially prohibit someone from accessing online information without proper authority. The senators opined that forcing applicants to reveal their login information may be “unduly coercive” and therefore violate the law. They also said employers may use the information posted on Facebook–such as age, marital status, or religion–to discriminate against applicants.

While the legal status is unclear, the issue doesn’t seem to be going anywhere: the senators also said they plan to introduce legislation banning the practice.


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