User privacy has become a growing issue in the online social networking websites. In 2011, Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to Facebook on their substandard security measures for protecting user privacy on their website, with a possible punishment if the company commits such violation in the future.

Recently, another issue has spurred the growing concerns of the general public in the US and Europe. Employers, who have their presence and employment mechanism on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, have been found in requesting the applicant’s personal information from their network pages. The issue was raised in the US Congress for consideration and a possible action formulation in response.

New York congressman Eliot Engel Friday introduced Social Networking Online Protection Act in the Congress. The act, if approved by legislation body, will refrain employers from asking the applicants for their personal information.

The Social Networking Online Protection Act would restrict current or potential employers “from requiring a username, password or other access to online content,” according to SNOPA.

The legislation would stop employers from seeking access to social networking sites “to discipline, discriminate and/or deny employment to individuals, or punish them for refusing to volunteer the information.”

The act would further extend the authority over schools, colleges and universities, initially in the US.

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