Senators Call for Investigation Into Employers’ Requests for Facebook Logins

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March 26 2012 5:12 PM

Senators Call for DOJ Investigation Into Employers’ Facebook Login Requests

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(Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have called for an investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder into requests by employers for login information from job applicants. A woman uses her smart phone to acces Facebook, in Buenos Aires on March 15, 2012.)

Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images

How would you feel about your employer playing around with your Facebook account? Some companies have asked for perspective employees’ logins during the interview process, and both Facebook and some U.S. Senators aren’t exactly clicking “Like.”

Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether companies asking for login information from people applying to jobs are violating federal law. The social media giant isn’t happy about the reported practice either, threatening to take legal action against employers who asked for social media credentials during the interview process. For instance, if a company discovers a person is a member of a certain group and then doesn’t hire them, they could be sued for discrimination.

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But the practice also raises some murky legal questions that may be without precedent even in 2012. You probably don’t need to untag those photos just yet. But for now, you might want to refrain from joining that “I hate my boss” group.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.