The U.S. Congress followed Maryland’s lead and introduced bills in both houses which would prohibit employers from requiring prospective or current employees to provide their employer with passwords to their social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. The bills make it an illegal invasion of the employee’s privacy.
The Senate version of the law is called the Password Protection Act and provides additional protection to smart phones, private e-mail accounts and all information contained on an employee’s personal computer.
The introduction of similar legislation in states such as California, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, comes just months after Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan warns users from sharing their passwords. Even in those states without such legislation, employers should refrain from asking for social media passwords.