Welch cosponsors bill to protect employee privacy on social media sites

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scott Coriell
Rep. Peter Welch’s office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Peter Welch today cosponsored legislation to curb the growing practice of employers requiring prospective or current employees, as a condition of employment, to provide access to password-protected social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.

The Password Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 5684) would prohibit compelling or coercing employees to provide access to data stored in private accounts.

“Employees have a legitimate expectation of privacy when using Facebook or Twitter. This legislation will prevent fishing expeditions into employees’ private lives,” Welch said. “While an employer may have a valid concern about the business impact of an employee’s online activity, demanding passwords and unfettered access to private accounts is an over-the-top solution.”

Recent news reports have highlighted a disturbing increase in the number of employers asking prospective employees to reveal usernames and passwords to social media accounts like Facebook. Some employers are demanding applicants, during job interviews, log into their accounts and allow the interviewer to browse their profile, acquaintances, and other information. Others are requiring passwords on job applications.

Welch has been a leader in Congress on the need to update privacy laws to keep pace with changing technologies. With mobile telephones and other devices making it easier to use GPS technology to track the location of individuals, Welch last July introduced bipartisan legislation to set clear guidelines on when and how this information can be accessed by law enforcement.

Press Release



Comment Policy

VTDigger.org requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harrassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Be succinct and to the point. If your comment is over 500 words, consider sending a commentary instead.

We personally review and moderate every comment that is posted here. This takes a lot of time; please consider donating to keep the conversation productive and informative.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a civil discourse among readers who are willing to stand behind their identities and their comments. VTDigger has created a safe zone for readers who wish to engage in a thoughtful discussion on a range of subjects. We hope you join the conversation.

Privacy policy
Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Welch cosponsors bill to protect employee privacy on social media sit..."