As a result of news stories about employers asking for Facebook passwords from job applicants and even from current employees, some states and the federal government are working on legislation to provide social media privacy protection.
Even though there are discrimination issues involved when companies spend time online checking out candiates, some still do it. It can be hard not to when it's so easy to gather information that way and, up until this point, there have been no specific laws prohibiting it.
However, legislation is starting to catch up to social media particularly in areas regarding privacy. Michael Trabold, Compliance Risk Director, Paychex, says "To prevent what some consider a growing trend of employers requiring or requesting social media login/access information from an employee or candidate, several states are moving toward expressly prohibiting this practice."
Current legislation includes:
Maryland was the first state to pass a law regarding User Name and Password Privacy Protection, which will become effective October 1, 2012.
Similar legislation is pending in California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington.
At the federal level, a new Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) has been proposed, but many feel the existing federal Stored Communications Act already sufficiently prohibits individuals from sharing system confidential information.
Read More: Employers Asking for Facebook Passwords
Image Copyright Getty Images Peter Dazeley