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Senators urge Justice Department to investigate employers who ask for Facebook passwords


Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is The New Republic's editor-in-chief.


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Two US senators are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews are violating federal law, the Associated Press reported.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and New York's Chuck Schumer said Sunday they are asking the Department of Justice and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch investigations into companies requesting personal passwords to social media sites.

On Friday, Facebook called the actions  “alarming,” Bloomberg wrote, and the social media giant said it could expose businesses to discrimination lawsuits.

Privacy advocates have also expressed concern. The Senators say the practice could violate federal anti-hacking statutes.

More from GlobalPost: Facebook slams employers who ask for passwords

Facebook stores personal information such as gender, race, religion and age, which are protected by federal employment law.

"We don't think it's the right thing to do," Facebook responded in a statement. "We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges."

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