U.S. Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY-17) recently proposed legislation that would greatly protect social media users from current and potential employers, etc. from invading their online privacy.
The legislation, Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) seeks to prohibit employers, schools, and universities from requesting user names and passwords to current and/or potential employees/students. The Act, while similar to proposed legislation of the same topic, also applies to college, universities, and K-12 schools.
Congressman Engels’ personal website published a press release on SNOPA, in which he states,
“Passwords are the gateway to many avenues containing personal and sensitive contact- including email accounts, bank accounts and other information,” press release
The issue of online protection regards aspects of discrimination and discipline, but also includes giving over the right to personal passwords that make it easy to access email accounts, bank accounts, etc. Original passwords just aren’t that common and unfortunately the second an employee knows that my user name is kristynnotharry and that my password is horcrux, they probably have access to my gmail, college emails, bank accounts, and Victoria’s Secret accounts. Because, realistically speaking, most college and high school students don’t have the time or memory to come up with and remember 18 different user name and password permutations.
Rep. Engel said it best, “No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education.”
The bill is originally sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09).
*Passwords have been changed to preserve anonymity. Oh, the irony.
*Snoop Dogg really has nothing to do with SNOPA, but its my dry humor that put the two together. Sorry, Snoop. Please don’t sue me for using your image on my poor collegiate blog.