MINNEAPOLIS (Thursday, May 3, 2012) – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was at a Minneapolis computer store this morning to announce that she will be cosponsoring federal legislation to prohibit an employer from requiring that a current or potential employee turn over the password to a Facebook or other private online account.

In recent weeks, news reports have described instances around the country where employers have demanded the Facebook passwords of job applicants as part of the hiring process.

“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.”

Klobuchar is working on legislation with Senate colleagues Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.   The Password Protection Act 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.

Klobuchar was joined at the news conference by Harvey Zuckman, owner of FirstTech; Clay Halunen, a Twin Cities attorney who focuses on employment law; and Patrick DuSchane, a president of the student body at Augsburg College.