Maryland bans employers from asking for Facebook passwords
Maryland on Monday became the first state in the nation to ban employers from requesting access to the social media accounts of employees and job applicants.
The state’s General Assembly passed legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring or seeking user names, passwords or any other means of accessing personal Internet sites such as Facebook as a condition of employment.
The bill has its genesis in a controversy that began when Maryland Corrections Officer Robert Collins returned to work following a leave of absence taken after the death of his mother. While completing a re-certification process needed to return to duty, Collins was asked for his personal Facebook password, ostensibly to check for known gang activity. He refused, and obtained the assistance of the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which quickly filed a lawsuit, bringing the case onto the national stage.
Collins’s case reached the halls of Congress, where several lawmakers gave speeches against the practice of employers asking for passwords or “friending” applicants. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on legislation that would ban the practice nationally.
Maryland ACLU legislative director Melissa Goemann said that Maryland “has trail-blazed a new frontier in protecting freedom of expression in the digital age, and has created a model for other states to follow.”
Collins said he is “excited to know that our esteemed policymakers in Maryland found it important to protect the privacy of Maryland’s citizens.”
“I hope that other state legislatures, and more importantly the federal government, follow Maryland’s lead and ensure these essential protections for all Americans nationwide,” Collins said.
- House bill would ban bosses from asking for Facebook passwords – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley (mbcalyn.com)
- Maryland Bans Employers From Asking For Facebook Passwords (yro.slashdot.org)
- Maryland OKs Bill Banning Employers From Requesting Passwords (pcmag.com)
- Maryland bans employers from asking for employee social media passwords (dailycaller.com)
- Bill would ban employers from seeking Facebook passwords from workers, job seekers (computerworld.co.nz)
- Maryland Passes Bill To Keep Social Media Private from Employers (marketingpilgrim.com)
- Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask for Your Facebook Login? – Alexis Madrigal – Technology – The Atlantic (mbcalyn.com)
- Bill 964 Protects Employees From Having Their Facebook Activities Monitored (webpronews.com)
- Want a job? Give Facebook password (cnn.com)
- Online Passwords, Paying With Pot And Disabling Stolen Phones. (cadmefoghlamthainniu.wordpress.com)