Monday, February 21, 2011

Employers Requiring Employees to Hand Over Facebook Password?

Attorney Molly DiBianca over at the Delaware Employment Law Blog has an interesting post about a case the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") has taken up regarding an employee, Robert Collins, who was required by his employer, the Maryland Division of Corrections, to provide his Facebook login and password during a recertification interview. Once he provided it, the interviewer logged on to his account and reviewed the content. The ACLU's blog has a more detailed account of the incident.

Because Collins works for a public sector employer, he has certain Constitutional protections that a private sector employee does not--hence why the ACLU, which handles Bill of Rights issues, is involved. Specifically, the ACLU believes this policy may violate both the Federal Stored Communications Act and Maryland state law, which protect privacy rights and extend protections to electronic communications. However, as DiBianca points out, whether public or private, such a policy is plain bad policy.

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