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A new bill has been proposed by Representative Eliot Engel which would make it illegal for potential employers to acquire job applicants’ Facebook passwords. The Social Networking Online Protection Act or “SNOPA” has been introduced to Congress and if the legislation is passed, it would prohibit employers from requiring current or potential employees to hand in their login details the any employer. SNOPA will also effectively make it illegal for employers to make use of content found online to discriminate against potential employees who are looking for a job.

This move is in response to recent reports that individuals who were looking for a job were asked to hand over their login credentials to social networking websites as a pre-requisite for their job application. Representative Engel (D-NY) who is the author of the bill said, “Social media sites have become a widespread communications tool – both personally and professionally – all across the world. However, a person’s so-called ‘digital footprint’ is largely unprotected.”

As of now, there are a few states which are working on implementing similar legislation such as California and Illinois with Maryland becoming the first state to ban the practice outright but there is still no federal law pertaining to the issue. If the legislation is passed, the effects will also be applied to educational institutes as well where there have apparently been cases about students being forced to submit their login credentials to school authorities as well. What do you think about SNOPA? Let us know with a comment below.

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