Published by LawTechie - March 29, 2012 - LawTechie

Internet LawA legal initiative by Congressman Ed Permutter to add restrictions to the FCC rules preventing employers from demanding workers’ social media (Facebook) usernames was shot down by the House today. This comes in the wake of Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal’s request to have the DOJ investigate the legality of such employment practices.

According to TechCrunch:

The final vote was 236 to 184, with only one House Republican voting in support of the changes.

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.

Honestly, as I mentioned earlier, as deplorable as this new privacy invasion practice by employers happens to be, it shouldn’t be illegal. And in any case, it is the employers who will ultimately expose themselves to all sorts of lawsuits on the basis that they terminated or did not hire a potential employee on the basis of some discriminatory factor gleaned from that person’s private Facebook account.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.


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