Following this week’s furor over reports that job applicants in the US were being asked by prospective employers to surrender their social media passwords as part of the application process, a US senator says he has filed a bill aimed at stopping the practice, which he said is an unreasonable invasion of privacy.
Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal told AP that the problem calls for a national solution, reacting to an increasing number of reports and complaints on the practice from job seekers in the current tight employment market all over the nation.
Earlier this week, legal experts commenting on the practice admitted that the legality of the demand for a job seeker’s username and password for Facebook and Twitter, for instance, remains unclear.
It is likely that the impending bill would lay the groundwork for a clearer understanding of the novel requirement that had caused many jobseekers to withdraw their applications, as they refused to reveal their social media passwords.
Sen. Blumenthal explained that his proposed bill would contain provisions for exceptions, such as those involving federal and law enforcement agencies seeking applicants whose backgrounds and personal circumstances need further examination.
Other legal sources, however, explained that even if job applicants volunteer to give up their social media passwords to would-be employers, such an act would still be coercive because the person is in need of a job and is under a lot of pressure to be accepted.