US Senators seek probe into employers seeking Facebook passwords from job seekers

Two US senators are seeking a US Justice Department (DoJ) probe into whether employers are violating federal laws when they ask job applicants to hand over their passwords to Facebook and other social networking sites.

Democrat Senators Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have sent a letter to the DoJ's attorney general Eric Holder, asking his agency to investigate whether this practice violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an anti-hacking law.

Both Senators yesterday told reporters that they will ask the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to conduct a probe as well.

In a press release sent to reporters, Schumer said, ''Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries. Why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords?''

This practice was first reported last week by The Associated Press where some employers sought seeking additional background on job applicants have asked them to voluntarily give the company access to their personal login details.

Facebook, the world's biggest social networking site, said that the reports of some employers asking potential job seekers for their passwords to social networking sites in order to view private posts and photographs were ''alarming.''