A German proposal to stop employers from screening current or potential workers on private Internet sites could prove difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Yet data protection experts laud the move.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has drafted a new law on data privacy that, among other things, will clamp down on the information companies can legally collect on employees from social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace.
The German cabinet is expected to approve the draft bill on Wednesday. It must then go before parliament for debate and a final vote.
Germany to take the lead
If passed into law, Germany will become the first country to slap legal restrictions on the use of personal information in private social networking sites. The law, however, will continue to allow companies to look at sites that are expressly designed to help people market themselves to potential employers.
A 2009 survey by Career Builder indicated that 45 percent of employers look at the Facebook profiles of potential applicants and 35 percent of these employers rejected applicants because of their findings.
Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Facebook is popular among young people - and their potential employers. Data experts say the proposed law will be nearly impossible to enforce. It would only provide greater protection for job-seekers who are able to prove that a potential employer collected information on them from a private social networking site, according to Yvette Reif, deputing managing director of the German Society for Data Protection and Security (GDD).
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