Violators could face a fine of up to $10,000
Earlier this month, the state of Maryland passed a first-in-the-nation bill preventing your employer from demanding your Facebook password. Now, it seems federal lawmakers are ready to follow their act: Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced a bill to the House that would make demanding employees' passwords a federal crime.
A number of lawmakers had been working on similar bills, but this, called The Social Networking Online Protection Act, is the first to be officially offered to congress. If passed, violators would be subject to a $10,000 fine. The bill also contains provisions making it illegal for your child's school or university to similarly demand their password, an act that is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Despite the fact that the bill has wide public support, finding enough backing to pass it in congress has been tricky. Last month, an amendment introduced to the Federal Communications Process Reform Act of 2012 by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) was defeated 184 to 236. It is believed a stand-alone bill such as The Social Networking Online Protection Act might fare better than an amendment tacked on to a controversial bill.
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