SNOPA Will Save Your Facebook Password

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A Congressman introduced federal legislation Friday that would make it illegal for employers or schools to demand Facebook passwords from employees, students or applicants.

The bill, called Social Networking Online Protection Act, or SNOPA, was introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. and can require a potential or current employee, and would make it a crime to require potential or current employees or students to divulge personal online information as part of the hiring, enrollment or discipline process.

"We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private,"  Engel said in a statement. "No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education.” 

The legislation would: 

Prohibit current or potential employers from requiring a username, password or other access to online content.  It does not permit employers to demand such access to discipline, discriminate or deny employment to individuals, nor punish them for refusing to volunteer the information.
Apply the same restrictions to colleges and universities, and K-12 schools as well.

"These coercive practices are unacceptable, and should be halted," Engel said in a letter to colleagues, according to MSNBC. "We have to draw a line between what is publicly available information, and what is personal, private content. I think we would all object to having to turn over usernames and passwords for email accounts, or even worse, to bank accounts. User-generated social media content should be no different."
Press:Here has written about numerous instances where employers and school officials demanded Facebook passwords. This law could put a stop to all that and take one's social media passwords as seriously as credit card numbers or security alarm codes.
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