Are employers violating law by seeking job seekers' Facebook password?
NEW YORK - Two US senators have demanded a probe into whether employers asking job applicants to hand over their passwords to Facebook and other social networking sites are violating federal law.
Chuck Schumer, Democratic senator for New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, have asked the American Department of Justice and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch investigations into the matter and are sending letters to the heads of the agencies.
The two have also urged America's Attorney General, Eric Holder to investigate the matter.
Last week, New York-based statistician Justin Bassett was asked to hand over his Facebook login information after his interviewer could not find his profile on the site, according to the Boston Globe.
Lee Williams, an online retail worker from the Midlands, told The Telegraph that he was asked by his managing director for his Facebook login details.
This and other similar cases have evoked concern about privacy violations.
Schumer said in a statement: " 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."
Facebook, the world's biggest social networking site, has described the development as "alarming".
It said in a statement: "This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user's friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability."
"I am alarmed and outraged by rapidly and widely spreading employer practices seeking access to Facebook passwords or confidential information on other social networks," Blumenthal said.
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