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Law Would Forbid Social Networking Research

PRIVACY LAW—GERMANY

August 26, 2010

The New York Times reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet yesterday backed a proposed law that would prevent employers from looking at job applicants' social networking activities during the hiring process. Under the law, which now moves to the parliament, employers would still be permitted to conduct general Internet searches regarding potential employees. In addition to forbidding social networking inquiries, the law would also forbid certain employee surveillance in the workplace. German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Peter Schaar called the proposal "a substantial improvement on the status quo in dealing with employees' data." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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