Attempting to give Facebook users some semblance of security, Democratic lawmakers in Congress this week inserted an amendment into a Federal Communications Commission bill that would have prevented employers from accessing users’ Facebook accounts. House Republicans blocked the measure, however, in a mostly party-line vote of 184 to 236.
“The legislation, offered by Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter, would have added new restrictions to FCC rules that would have prohibited employers from demanding workers’ social networking usernames and passwords,” TechCrunch reports. “Had it passed, this amendment would have tacked on an extra section to H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012, basically allowing the FCC to step in to stop any employers who asked applicants for this confidential information.”
Upon its introduction, Perlmutter said of proposed amendment: “People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter. They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment.”