WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined three other senators today to announce the introduction of legislation to prohibit an employer from requiring a current or potential employee to turn over their password to a Facebook or other private online account. In recent weeks, news reports have highlighted instances around the country where employers have demanded the Facebook passwords of job applicants as part of the hiring process. Last week, Klobuchar met with businesses, employment law experts, and students to discuss how to protect employee privacy in the digital age.
“This is about the right to privacy,” said Klobuchar. “No person should be forced to reveal their private online communications just to get a job. This is another example of making sure our laws keep up with advances in technology and that fundamental values like the right to privacy are protected.”
The Password Protection Act, which Klobuchar and Blumenthal introduced with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), would prohibit employers from coercing job applicants or current employees to provide access to their private online systems, including Facebook, e-mail and other online storage.
Klobuchar serves on both the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications issues, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has authority over privacy issues.