The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA)

social mediaOn April 27th, 2012, Rep. Eliot Engel, introduced the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA). SNOPA is being introduced with urging form the ACLU to pass legislation based on the rights to keep online accounts private; as concerns grow about employers asking applicants and employees for their login credentials to social networking sites.  SNOPA legislation prohibits employers from requiring a person’s login credentials to access their online content.

According to the ACLU website, “Such demands constitute a grievous invasion of privacy. Private activities that would never be intruded upon offline should not receive less privacy protection simply because they take place online. It is inconceivable that an employer or school official would be permitted to read an applicant’s or student’s diary or postal mail, listen in on the chatter at their private gatherings with friends, or look at their private videos and photo albums. Nor should they expect the right to do the electronic equivalent.”

SNOPA will make it illegal for employers to access personal accounts or devices that are password protected. In addition, SNOPA will make it illegal for any employee or applicant to be required to provide Facebook passwords or private material, for employers to pressure employees to accept an employer as a member of their social network, to discharge or discipline an employee who refuses access to their online social networking, and to refuse to hire anyone who refuses access to their online networking.

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