Client Alert

Lawmakers Defending Password-Protected Employee Accounts: Employers Need to Proceed Smartly

May 04, 2012


Mortified is the reported reaction of Robert Collins, a former corrections officer with the Maryland Department of Corrections (DOC), when DOC requested his Facebook username and password about a year ago. After Collins gave that information to a DOC interviewer in connection with its re-certification process, the interviewer logged on to his account and reviewed the content, including posts of Collins family and friends.

The term mortified may well describe the reaction of lawmakers, as well, because protective legislation recently passed in Maryland, is pending in at least 10 other states, and just surfaced in the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, Facebook has warned its users that you should never have to share your password, and LinkedIn has been alive with questions such as Could employers in the UK demand your Fbook password? Worldwide, employers should proceed with caution.

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