Update on Social-Media Password Requests

October 11th, 2012 by JBWK

Several months after employers were taken to task for demanding applicants’ social-media passwords, three states have passed legislation regulating the process.

Two states, Maryland and Illinois have fairly strict rules with few or no exceptions. The third, California, recently passed its version, which allows employers more leeway. It provides an exception for employers to investigate employee wrongdoing or any violation of law.

The statutes extend not only to directly requests for log-in credentials, but also prohibit so-called “shoulder surfing,” or requiring employees or applicants to log into social media sites while the employer is watching.

So far Virginia has not passed any legislation regulating the process.

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