AP just reported that some employers have been asking job applicants for their Facebook passwords as a pre-requisite to hiring, a practice which has drawn immediate fire from Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who are demanding a Justice Department and EEOC investigation, claiming that this practice is an invasion of personal privacy and a possible federal law violoation.  Sen. Schumer stated that “Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries. Why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords?”

Facebook, ever attuned to public criticism, immediately called this practice "alarming," and said that it would stop this practice.  Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan has blogged that such employer requests “undermine the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends,” and violate Facebook’s terms of use.  


Besides the two Senators, state legislators in four states — Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and California — have or will introduce legislation to ban any requiremtn of current or prospective employees to provide or disclose any user names, passwords or other means of accessing a personal online account.


The bloging about this is in full swing. 


Won’t you be my friend?