Maryland Bans Employers from Asking for Social Media Passwords

by Aimee on April 16, 2012

When I was looking for a new job last summer, I Googled myself to see what potential employers would see if they Googled me. Quite frankly, I expected that a potential employer who liked my resume, or with whom I had an initial interview would Google me. If I was hiring someone, I’d do it.

But if they asked me for my Facebook, Twitter or other social media passwords, I would have been shocked and outraged. Although it would have been legal for them to ask the question, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have taken a job with an employer who required that information. How would you feel if your boss had the ability to access your entire Facebook account?

Now, Maryland has became the first state in the country to outlaw employers or potential employers from asking for social media user names and passwords, effective this October. Illinois, California and several other states are currently considering similar pieces dotRights legislation.

As a blogger and avid user of social media, I know that I have a lot of personal information “out there” for public consumption. My boss, colleagues, children’s teachers, neighbors, etc. can all find out a lot about me with a little digging. And that’s a decision I’ve made and I’m comfortable with. But I keep my Facebook privacy settings pretty high and, save for my husband who could probably guess my password in less than three tries, I’m not giving anyone access to my Facebook account!

 

Two of the places you can find Aimee online are her blogs Smiling Mama and Out by Ten.

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sue April 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I completely agree! I have a lot of personal information out there in the public too and I use some of my online writing on my resume and have discussed my blogs in interviews. But I would NEVER even consider taking a job if I was asked for my passwords. I absolutely expect to be Googled, but giving out my passwords is like handing a potential employer the keys to my house and telling them to dig around wherever they want. Simply ridiculous. Way to go, Maryland!

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Elaine April 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

It shocks me that employers have the audacity to ask in the first place – that this is something that even needs to be legislated. Wow!

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