The Password Protection Act Will Protect Employees’ Private, Personal Information

Like many of you, I was appalled when I heard accounts of employers forcing prospective employees to provide passwords to personal websites like Facebook as part of the hiring process. As Americans, we value our privacy, and the thought that our privacy could be invaded as part of the job hunt is anathema to us.

Since those  reports came to light, I have been drafting legislation to stop this reprehensible practice. Last week, I, along with a number of my colleagues from the House and Senate, introduced the Password Protection Act, which would prohibit employers from compelling potential or current employees to provide access to personal, private information.

Employers who force job applicants or current employees to hand over their login credentials for personal information harm the applicant or employee in a number of ways. They abuse the privacy of the individual and, just as importantly, the privacy of the individual’s friends and family who correspond with the individual via email or interact with the individual through social networking sites. They threaten the security of the individual’s data, exposing the individual to potential data breaches or identity theft. They also allow an employer to make discriminatory hiring decisions.

The Password Protection Act will address these problems by prohibiting an employer from forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their own private systems as a condition of employment.

If you would like to learn more about the Password Protection Act, or if you would like to express your support for this legislation, please click here