Social Networking Online Protection Act: What You Should Know

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Should employees social networking privacy be protected by Congress?

The proposed Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA or SNOOP Act) is an attempt at the federal level to outlaw employers and educational institutions from demanding social media and other passwords from employees, students, and applicants.

Although it died in committee last year, this Frankenstein will come back to life again the current legislative session.

In 2012, the following states passed similar social networking Internet privacy laws:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey

This is another example of legislative overkill, outlawing social networking misbehavior that the marketplace would take care of effectively without the interference of politicians.

Let’s face it. Would you want to work for an employer or attend a school that demanded access to your Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin accounts?

There are plenty of companies and universities who would respect you enough to never require you to submit to such a violation of your Internet privacy.

As an aside, it’s noteworthy that the governments that focus on legislating on issues like these are some of the most insolvent on the planet. Perhaps it is bread and circuses distractions so you don’t tar and feather politicians for the long-term debt they’re piling on top of your future.

If you’re an employer, be sure to talk with your Internet lawyer about employee and job applicant privacy rights before you start snooping online.

h/t Brendan Sasso @ Hillicon Valley – Lawmakers renew push to bar bosses from asking for Facebook passwords