Legislation that would give workers broad protection from the prying eyes of employers was introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday. Both bills would make it illegal for employers to force workers or candidates to divulge social media passwords, similar to legislation nicknamed SNOPA, which was introduced last month. But the new Password Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.. goes even further, extending such limitations to smart phones, private email accounts, photo sharing sites and any personal information that resides on computers owned by the workers.Read the rest here.
But Blumenthal's proposal -- and its companion in the House, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo. -- is narrower in some ways than the Social Networking Online Protection Act(SNOPA) introduced April 27 by Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N. Y. SNOPA extended similar protections to elementary, high school and college students. Under the Password Protection Act, students would not be protected.
Still, Blumenthal's legislation is "a good start," said Chris Calabrese, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We feel like it's a very flexible standard. It extends to your iPhone, to information you have on Google and anything else that may come up in the future that we haven't thought of yet. “