Employers in California, Illinois Can No Longer Request Facebook Passwords
January 1, 2013 7:11 PM
The law took effect at 12:01 a.m. today
If you were worried about an employer seeing those pictures from the big New Year's party on your Facebook last night, don't fret -- a new law that's taking place this year will
prevent employers from requesting Facebook passwords
The law took effect at 12:01 a.m. today in both California and Illinois. It states that employers can't request social networking passwords or non-public account information from current or potential employees.
Michigan is another state that passed a similar law last month.
However, something that citizens in these states need to keep in mind is that employers can still see any public posts, tweets or photos on the social networks. So unless you set your information to private, it's fair game.
Back in 2011, employees and applicants to the Maryland Department of Corrections were asked to surrender their emails and passwords in order for employers to access their Facebook pages. This resulted in a complaint from corrections officer Robert Collins, who went to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU argued that this was an invasion of privacy. The Department of Corrections has since stopped this practice, but found a loophole -- they just ask the applicant to log onto their Facebook accounts right in front of them, giving employers the freedom to browse photos, comments and Walls right in front of the applicant.
The Maryland Department of Corrections isn't the only establishment searching social networks for clues as to who they're accepting. The University of North Carolina recently revised its handbook to make it so student-athletes must add a coach or administrator to their friends list on their social networks.
In March 2012, some government job seekers and student-athletes complained that the government agency or college in which they were applying to had asked for
access to their Facebook pages
among other social networking sites.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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