Well, that didn’t take long. A proposed Facebook user protection amendment introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives has already been shot down. 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 passwords.
The final vote was 236 to 184, with only one House Republican 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 from job seekers or employees.
The amendment to the bill was put forward following a series of media reports about this increasingly common practice, which recently caught the attention of the ACLU, and even Facebook itself. On Friday, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer on Policy, Erin Egan, took a hard stance on the matter, reminding employers that not only was this a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, it could also put them in other legally troublesome situations, leading to things like discrimination complaints, for example.