The movement to stop employers from requiring applicants to give up Facebook or other social network passwords in order to conduct background checks is gaining momentum. The California State Assembly recently passed AB 1844, which would "prohibit an employer from requiring an employee or prospective employee to disclose a user name or account password to access social media." It was supported unanimously with a vote of 73 to 0 and now passes to the State Senate
The bill, which was introduced in late February, is one of several nationwide. In April, Maryland became the first state to prohibit the practice. A federal amendment was shot down, but members of Congress are lobbying the Attorney General to look into the practice, and other states have proposed similar legislation. The US Chamber of Commerce has apparently found 129 reported cases nationwide of employers potentially violating social media privacy. This bill wouldn't stop some practices — like asking an applicant to log in and show profiles to the employer or requiring them to friend an employer — but it would give workers a clearer idea of their rights when applying for a job.