Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on April 3, 2012
Congressmen Rob Bishop (R) and Jason Chaffetz (R) voted this past week to allow employers to require you turn over your Facebook passwords. In a nearly party-line vote, House Republicans voted unanimously to allow your boss to require you give up your private Facebook and Twitter account info.
It’s a scary new phenomenon, but many employers are now requiring employees to give them access to their private social media accounts, such as facebook and twitter. This includes required lines on job applications where applicants must provide both their usernames and passwords to their online accounts so that companies can login as their employees and monitor what you are saying.
Congressional Democrats introduced a measure this past week that would ban companies from such egregious violations of employees’ right to privacy, but the measure was quickly voted down by every House Republican, including Representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Democratic Representative Jim Matheson voted in favor of the bill to protect privacy.
Rep. Perlmutter (D-CO) had this to say:
People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter. They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment. Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications. Employers essentially can act as imposters and assume the identity of an employee and continually access, monitor and even manipulate an employee’s personal social activities and opinions. That’s simply a step too far.