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Illinois Facebook Password Request Bill Hits A Snag

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Legislation that would prohibit employers from seeking job applicants' social network passwords is on hold in the Illinois House.

Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford's measure would allow job-seekers to file lawsuits if asked for access to sites like Facebook. Bosses could still ask for usernames that would allow them to view public information on the sites.

But critics questioned a provision that safeguards an employer's ability to "maintain lawful workplace policies" regarding electronic equipment and investigating suspected unlawful or improper activity. They say that contradicts the password prohibitions.

Ford says he wants to protect employers as well as employees. He says he will work on the language and bring the bill back for a House vote.