Remember when we were all worried that banks could demand the passwords to our social media accounts, thus ensuring that we would never use Facebook again?
And then we freaked out because employers might be able to take them as well?
Well, Maryland residents no longer have to worry. (About the employers, that is–they can still panic about the banks.)
Mashable reports that a bill was passed in the state of Maryland to prohibit employers from requiring access to an applicant’s social media accounts as a condition of employment.
This became an issue earlier this year, when a Maryland corrections officer took a leave of absence from his job, then returned to apply for a comparable position and was asked for his Facebook password. He gave it, but was so uncomfortable that he reported the incident to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who championed the cause on his behalf.
As expected, they’re pretty excited about the ruling, saying that “Our state has trail-blazed a new frontier in protecting freedom of expression in the digital age, and has created a model for other states to follow.”
Let’s not get so swept away in our victory on behalf of potential employees everywhere and forget that employers (and mom, and grandma, and all of your high school acquaintances) can still see publicly available information provided through your social media channels, so it’s your best interest to avoid social media blunders like these … not that we’re giving you ideas.
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