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Password Protection Act Introduced to Prevent Employers From Requesting Social Network Passwords

Published by on June 20, 2012

The Password Protection Act of 2012 was introduced on May 9, 2012, by several Democratic Senators.  More after the break. A complete description of the PPA, including its text, may be viewed at Senator Richard Blumenthal’s web page here. The PPA would prohibit employers from “forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their […]

The Password Protection Act of 2012 was introduced on May 9, 2012, by several Democratic Senators.  More after the break.

A complete description of the PPA, including its text, may be viewed at Senator Richard Blumenthal’s web page here.

The PPA would prohibit employers from “forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their own private account as a condition of employment” and “discriminating or retaliating against a prospective or current employee because that employee refuses to provide access to a password-protected account.”  Employers that violate the Password Protection Act would face financial penalties.

The PPA would allow employers to permit social networking within the office on a voluntary basis; set policies for employer-operated computer systems and hold employees accountable for stealing data from their employers. 

The bill follows similar bills introduced in the Maryland and Illinois state legislatures.  Employers should be aware of this issue and seek legal advice if they are considering requiring employees to provide password information.

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