Bill 964 Protects Employees From Having Their Facebook Activities Monitored

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Reports indicate that several Baltimore employers have been asking for passwords to their employees social networking sites in an attempt to monitor their employees' background and activities more closely. Such practices created a public outcry and Baltimore has passed a law that prohibits employers from asking for such information.

Facebook also posted on their website that they found such attempts to be inappropriate and warned users that, "They should never have to share [their] password, let anyone access [their] account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of [their] account or violate the privacy of [their] friends."

Some employers even require their staff to friend the company on Facebook.

House Bill 964 unanomously passed in the Senate last week by a vote of 128-10 in the House. The purpose of the bill is as follows:

It prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service through certain electronic communications devices; prohibiting an employer from taking, or threatening to take, certain disciplinary actions for an employee’s refusal to disclose certain password and related information; prohibiting an employer from failing or refusing to hire an applicant as a result of the applicant’s refusal to disclose certain password and related information; prohibiting an employee from downloading certain unauthorized information or data to certain Web sites or Web–based accounts; providing that an employer, based on the receipt of certain information regarding the use of certain Web sites or certain Web–based accounts, is not prevented from conducting certain investigations for certain purposes; defining certain terms; and generally relating to employment and privacy protection.

Maryland is the first state to pass such legislation.

The Young Turks Network thinks that the practice of employers sifting through employees' Facebook accounts is perverted.

Do you think Big Brother needs to get out of our lives?

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