A new bill proposed by New York and Illinois Democrats Eliot Engel and Jan Schakowsky will change the way employers use Facebook when searching for new employees. The bill is known as the “Social Networking Online Protection Act” or SNOPA and it addresses the growing practice of pre-employment Facebook screenings, intending to make the practice itself illegal. Many employers have started requiring their employees to submit their social media login credentials as a requirement for employment.
The two congressmen proposing this bill think that this is an invasion of privacy, and will make employers who continue this practice, subject to a $10,000 civil penalty.
“We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private. 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. This is a matter of personal privacy and makes sense in our digital world.”
SNOPA has been receiving support from other congressmen who agree that privacy is a right and not a privilege.
The months ahead are likely to see the introduction of groundbreaking new laws pertaining to important issues such as cybersecurity and privacy. Currently, SNOPA looks to be at the forefront of that legislation and may make history as one of first American laws specifically regarding social networking privacy.
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