Facebook password laws go into effect in six states

Posted at 8:57 PM, Dec 31, 2012
and last updated 2013-01-01 10:24:10-05

Employers in six states will no longer be able to require their employees hand over personal Facebook account passwords thanks to new laws passed this year.

California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey all passed similar bans, reported Reuters.

The California and Illinois’ laws also include job applicants.

The Michigan law adds educational institutions to the ban. They can be punished for dismissing or failing to admit a student who does not provide passwords and other account information used to access private internet and email accounts, including social networks.

Laws preventing employers from demanding access to an employee’s Facebook or other social media accounts began after the case of a Maryland state correctional services worker was told he had to turn over his Facebook password if he wanted to be reinstated to his job after a leave of absence.

TheACLU of Maryland took up the case saying the request was a violation of Robert Collins’ privacy and was discrimination.