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Employer demands Facebook password during interview

Late last year a man -- Officer Robert Collins -- from Maryland was asked to give his Facebook login email address and password during a recertification interview with the Maryland Division of Corrections (DOC). Now, it has been made aware that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sent a letter to Gary Maynard, Public Secretary, on behalf of Robert Collins. The letter relates to the DOC's blanket requirement that new applicants, as well as those applying for recertification, are to provide the government with their social media usernames and passwords.

In the letter, the ACLU states that no one "deserve[s] to have the government snooping about their private electronic communications"; they stress that the communication that goes on behind Facebook is intended to be private. Later on, they compare it to the likes of the government asking for personal pictures or listening in on private telephone conversations that have nothing to do with the job. "The DOC policy is illegal under the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA)," they assert.

To note, the DOC's policy is quite different than browsing their prospective employees' public social profiles. Instead of happening to read something that was not set private by they user's own discretion, it would be more like being able to go through their emails.

Collins clarified, in a video describing the events, that he "has used the settings on Facebook to maintain the highest level of privacy that's afforded to [him]." He called the fact that an employer could look through his religious beliefs, his sexuality, and his personal photos and posts "an absolute, total invasion."

The ACLU has yet to receive a response from the Press Secretary or the Maryland government.

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