Wednesday, February 6, 2013

U.S. Social Networking Online Protection Act Reintroduced

The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) was reintroduced today by Congressman Elliot Engel of New York. The bill would ban employers and schools from being able to request or require that employees, job applicants, students, or student applicants provide access to personal password protected digital accounts. The bill is a win for businesses, schools, employees, job applicants, student applicants, students, and the right to privacy.

With access comes responsibility.  Without access it would be very difficult for an employer or school to be held legally liable for the digital content that an employee or student posts on their personal digital accounts.  Therefore, the bill may protect businesses, schools, and taxpayers from tremendous legal liability.

This bill is needed because some companies are approaching employers and schools with the pitch:  require your employees and/or students to verify their digital media credentials so we can scan everything they have said online, everything said about them online, and everything their digital connections discuss online.  In general, nobody should be required to verify their personal digital credentials/activities/content absent a legal proceeding that requires it.  More information will be forthcoming.  

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

(Full Disclosure: I am working with Congressman Engel's office on this bill.)