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Facebook Password Requests from Employers May Break US Laws

With more and more employers demanding Facebook accounts, data and even password credentials during job seeking processes, two US senators demand an investigation by Eric Holder, America's Attorney General, on the matter.

The pursue was started by Chuck Schumer, a Democratic senator of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, when the two asked the American Department of Justice and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to begin investigations by sending letters to the heads of those agencies.

The conflict emerged with Justin Basset, a statistician from New York, who was seeking a job and after completing all the standard questions present in an interview, he was asked for his Facebook account. Unable to find the profile on the social network, the interviewer demanded login credentials. Basset refused and withdraw.

Another case is While Lee Williams, an online retail worker from Midlands, who was asked the same login information by his current managing director after discovering that due to privacy settings, details could not be retrieved from his Facebook profile.

Paula Whelan, an employment partner at Shakespeares law firm, says employers have every right to ask for Facebook login credentials but none to demand it. On the other side of the coin, employees can simply refuse to hand over these details but it can become difficult if a person thinks it will not be hired by saying no.

The tactic will soon find its way in UK also, as Sarah Veale, head of equality and employment rights for the TUC claims. Hopefully, this predicament will be avoided if the two senators involved discover the practice to violate the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.