Employers in California and Illinois are now prohibited from demanding access to workers' password-protected social networking accounts.
Fort Lee, New Jersey (PRWEB) January 03, 2013
SocialTechNews.com is spreading the word that as of January 1, 2013, employers in California and Illinois are prohibited from demanding access to workers' password-protected social networking accounts.
The new law protecting employees’ rights to keep their social media accounts private from employers is one of more than 400 measures enacted at the state level in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
The California and Illinois rulings took effect at 12:01a.m. January 1, making it illegal for bosses to request social networking passwords or non-public online account information from employees, job applicants, or students.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a similar measure into law in December that took effect immediately. The Michigan law takes social media protection a step further, threatening to penalize educational institutions for expelling or refusing to admit a student for withholding passwords and other account information used to access private internet and email accounts, including social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Employees and students in the three states will still need to be careful about what they post online, as employers and schools may still access publicly posted social networking information. That means inappropriate posts, tweets, photos, and other social media foolishness can come back to haunt posters.
As increasing numbers of Americans have turned to social media both on and off the job in recent years, employers began demanding employees to submit login information on personal accounts. Employers argue that access to employee social media accounts is necessary to protect company information and avoid exposure to lawsuits. However, employees claim such demands account to nothing more than invasion of privacy.
State legislators began introducing new laws in 2012 to prevent employers from requesting passwords to personal Internet accounts after rising numbers of individuals complained of being fired or being refused employment after refusing to hand over their personal logins. Students also protested similar treatment from public colleges and universities demanding access to private accounts as a prerequisite to admission or remaining enrolled. California, Illinois and Michigan join a growing number of states enacting legislation to protect employee and student rights to withhold social networking login information.
For more information, visit the SocialTechNews.com website or email info(at)socialtechnews(dot)com.
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