Facebook password laws go into effect in some US states

If you live in some parts of the United States and have a Facebook or Twitter account, today should be a great day. Today, laws in two states that will help protect social networking accounts go into effect.

Reuters reports that new 2013 laws in California and Illinois will keep employers from requesting that they gain access to the passwords of their employees' social networking accounts. The state of Michigan passed a similar law in December that went into effect immediately after it was signed by its governor. Maryland put its own version of those laws into place earlier last year.

These new laws seem to be a growing trend among state lawmakers who want to protect employees who may fear that their Facebook and Twitter accounts could be monitored by their bosses. Companies have fired employees in the past for posts on Facebook that are visible to the general public.

While more states are making a decision to put social networking privacy laws into effect, a bill to amend FCC regulations would have done the same thing at the federal level was defeated in a vote by the U.S.Senate earlier in 2012.

Source: Reuters | Image via Facebook

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SOOPRcow said,
In the end, it was a stupid way to try and protect passwords. It was a stunt... which is all we get out of congress these days. What they should've done is just try and introduce a new law in the first place preventing such requests. That or leave it up to the states

Yeah, it was a stunt indeed. It was a one-sentence amendment to a bill concerning FCC requirements (which few people would have cared about otherwise), and it had little hope of getting real results.

It just made for a few sensationalist news articles when the bill with that amendment was voted down.

Exactly. Lots of people get real uppity when it comes to the federal government passing new business regulation laws even if they are good laws. States rights v Federal rights is always ongoing.

I think all those who support the security enforcement for web user safety, should stick with last pass and make sure most passwords are hashed and stored in up to 25 characters. (Disregard the hash part.)

Yeah, I really don't see a reason employers or universities / higher education schools need access to your Facebook...

it's so easy, don't make your profile searchable in Facebook or change the name. Lie you don't have an account?

I don't understand why there needs to be a law for this, or why it's social network specific. An employer with proper security procedures wouldn't even ask you for your password to their own network, let alone your password to another network.

I wouldn't give my employer my password to their network nor my MyCokeRewards account, let alone a social network that would grant them access to not only my personal data, but also my friends' personal contact data. They can't have my Gmail address book either. If you need my password to anything, you're just going to have to fire me.

With unemployment where it is, some jobs get lots of applicants. Employers have a lot more power these days especially in hiring. When unemployment goes down you will see these kinds of things go away (because Employers want to make applying to jobs more attractive again).

Wow! I guess it's all good now though.
I can't believe at one time people had to do that, seems wrong.
Me, I would have told them to Get Bent if asked for my passwords.

Hmm.. why would employers ask you for your Facebook password?
Thats like me giving you the keys to my house.
I'll invite you in, you can see what I want you to see,
but you cannot have my password and you cannot have my keys.
Whatever I want you to know is public.
Thats the way privacy is supposed to work.

I used to work for a company..where they--believe this--had an entire department dedicated to scanning social media websites to see if the company was mentioned...how the company was mentioned...and if people were saying things positive or negative about the company.

So...my guess is...along with the monitoring of social media employers are doing..they are making sure their own employees are not betraying their own company they work for by divulging company secrets to facebook friends that could possibly be working for the company's competitor.

I can understand companies being concerned about employees talking about things about the company they shouldn't be on social networking sites. But since Facebook is a free website where anyone can join...employers are going to work that to their advantage.

But what's going to end up happening is...people are just simply going to say they don't have a facebook account..but then..you will have to make sure you don't post a picture of yourself on your profile for the employer to find on a lookup. That would be grounds for termination.

Or...to make it easier...Facebook can make the website a pay website and then you can tell your employer that you are paying for this service...so it must stay private and because you would be paying...you would have a privacy law on your side.

This could lay the groundwork for facebook to start offering a pay version of the website for the privacy.

I've just learned you could be expelled from school in Michigan from failing to disclose your private e-mail's password. How is this even conceivable is beyond me. Can never happen in the EU.

I flat out wouldn't work for a company that had the policy of asking for private passwords. I have nothing to hide, he'll I'll even add the boss as an unrestricted friend but there is no way in hell it's a necessary evil.

It's unbelievable that something like this could be legal anywhere. What you do on Facebook is none of their business anyway, but to demand your passwords is just criminal.

I would never give my password out, and if I did give them a facebook password of mine I would make sure it was a fake account with a **** YOU timeline cover and some dumb as pictures.

I would not like to work for someone like that.

Handing over login details to anyone else is against Facebook's terms of service.

Section 4: Registration and Account Security
Paragraph 8: You will not share your password (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.

So I don't see how it can be legal in any instance for an employer to demand access to a personal account, as doing so would force an employee to deliberately breech the clearly laid down terms of use.

Why don't these ignorant company's just totally block Facebook? They have no business needing to know an employees password, but I sure hope they weren't allowing ANY employees to use Facebook while at work also?

I'd be firing those individuals, so wouldn't have a need to know passwords!! Could go into it a lot more, but this subject is touchy, for me, as it's one of the dumbest things to ever be brought up for any legislative action I've ever heard of!!

Most companies block completely facebook, while other banned the use. And it is pretty easy to detect which worker acceded to facebook. However,every worker is pretty safe to use facebook via a cellphone, unless (obviously) it is a corporate cellphone.

Indeed, some companies could ask the password only during a investigation. In any case, if one is innocent then it is way better to give away the password than to lose your job.

It's usually in the terms and conditions of most reputable sites that you do not share your password with ANYONE anyway

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