The headlines have been full of stories about employers asking for Facebook passwords as a condition of employment. Two democratic Senators are trying to determine whether this request is legal. The requests have been sent to the Department of Justice and the EEOC. From the DOJ, the Senators solicit information about whether the requests violate the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. These acts preclude unauthorized access to computers and the Senators are inquiring whether coerced submission of this information would constitute unauthorized access.
The Senators have asked the EEOC whether these requests for passwords violate the employment discrimination laws. The reasons such requests may violate these laws are the online personal information pertaining to religion, sex, marital status, race et al. It may be that collecting this information as a background check could be a pretext for discrimination.