Petition: Pass the Password Protection Act

Petition: Pass the Password Protection Act

Summary: Access Now has launched a petition to pass the Password Protection Act (PPA), a bill looking to protect employees from employers asking for access to their social networking accounts.

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Last week, a group of Democrats introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to prevent employers from forcing employees and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones.

Mike Rispoli of Access Now got in touch to let me know about a petition his organization is running to get the PPA bill passed. The group has already received over 22,000 signatures. You can sign as well at this webpage: Pass the Password Protection Act.

Here's the petition's description:

Right now, your boss or school can demand that you hand over your Facebook or email password, and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Some people have even been fired from their jobs for refusing to reveal their passwords! But the US government could be about to take the lead and change all that.

Wherever we live, these "Give up your password or else" policies are a blatant invasion of our privacy, but there are no explicit laws currently that protect users from this practice. The recent introduction of the Password Protection Act in the US could set a precedent - and is something we should all support. Read our blog for more info on the bill.

All attempts by lawmakers have failed thus far, in part because the internet community has not spoken out. With the Password Protection Act, we now have an opportunity to get the US to set a national and international standard for safeguarding our online identities.

Sign the Access petition to the right, calling for the immediate passage of the Password Protection Act, and we'll deliver your signatures to Congress before they vote on the bill.

The goal is 25,000 signatures. I think that's not enough. I believe America can do better.

Maryland was the first state to ban employers from asking for your Facebook password. California wants to be second. Similar measures are pending in many other states, including Illinois and Michigan, but I think the PPA is the best solution, because it's a national bill.

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Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • They only do good

    What else does this bill do? Have you read it, or are you just going by the press release? These guys are forever naming things "The Happiness and Sunshine Act" and after they pass it we find out it authorizes TSA agents to break down your door and grab your crotch.

    And shouldn't the issue of whether you can use your personal phone/tablet/whatever to receive business-related documents and communications be the subject of an agreement between you and your employer, instead of a cast-in-stone federal law that basically stops BYOD in its tracks?

    UPDATE: I now know you were going by the press release. That's because no such bill has been proposed in the Senate. If it's not in thomas.loc.gov (and it's not) then there is no such bill. Maybe there will be, but they announced this on May 9 so they've had a week to introduce it. And yet... nada.
    Robert Hahn