Senators Question Employer Requests for Facebook Passwords

In an official disclosure on Sunday, the offices of two Democratic Senators, Charles E. Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, revealed that the senators have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to initiate an investigation into whether the employers' demand for the Facebook passwords of job applicants amounts to the violation of federal law.

In specific, the two senators have questioned the employers' request for Facebook passwords of employees, and want to know whether the practice marks a violation of the Stored Communications Act, which prohibits intentional unauthorized access to electronic information; or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which forbids intentional access to a computer for obtaining information without authorization.

Going by the information shared by the offices of the two senators, letters are being sent to the Justice Department and the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for request of probe into the employers' contentious practice.

The move by the senators comes within days of The Associated Press' last week report which drew attention to the fact that some private and public agencies in the US were apparently asking for the social media credentials of job applicants.

Pointing to the fact that personal information which people have online is increasing by the day, Senator Schumer said in a statement that all individuals should themselves decide what information they want to share and what they want to protect from their potential employers. Schumer further added: "This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence."