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Are employers who ask job applicants for Facebook usernames, passwords breaking the law?

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It's still difficult to say what Facebook's actual position is on this issue of employers asking prospective employees for their Facebook username and password, so they can peruse your account as part of the job interview process.

Facebook's initial response was quite forceful, yet their follow-up later the same day suggested they may now ignore the attacks on privacy.

With the election season kicking into high gear, a few senators are calling for an inquiry. Employers demanding Facebook passwords is as outrageous as them asking for private letters or emails. It may be a soft economy and employers may have the upper hand but asking for Facebook passwords is none of their business.

"In an age where more and more of our personal information — and our private social interactions — are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence," Schumer said in a statement.

Specifically, the senators want to know if this practice violates the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Those two acts, respectively, prohibit intentional access to electronic information without authorization and intentional access to a computer without authorization to obtain information.

The senators also want to know whether two court cases relating to supervisors asking current employees for social media credentials could be applied to job applicants.

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