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Bill Would Ban Social Network Snooping by Employers

Robert Collins, a former Maryland corrections officer, was in a Towson studio talking to Robert Siegel about a General Assembly bill that arose because of his experiences.

This NPR story caught my ear Wednesday afternoon as soon as Robert Siegel said "Towson, Maryland."

Former Maryland corrections officer Robert Collins was on All Things Considered yesterday talking about his experience re-applying for his job after a leave of absence. The interviewer asked for his Facebook username and password to check for gang affiliation. He consented and was re-hired, but he felt his privacy was violated.

Following Collins' complaints last year, the state suspended the practice of asking for social network logins during interviews. And now a bill in the General Assembly would ban all employers from asking that prospective or current employees provide passwords for social networks, email accounts or other services. A hearing was held March 7 in the House of Delegates.

NPR's All Tech Considered blog quotes a labor expert who cautions that any law may need to contain some protections for protective service positions where some access to social media profiles may be necessary.

Check out a 2011 video interview with Collins on the ACLU of Maryland's website.

So you tell us. When, if at all, should employers be allowed to search your Facebook account or other social media profiles?

Mike Pierce March 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM
There is no job in the world where you should be required to give them your user id and password. If the job is that sensitive like the CIA, I'm sure they can get into your account without your password.

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