Social Media Regulation

Here’s a very interesting post about pending legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would prohibit employers from requiring employees or applicants to provide access to their social media passwords as a condition of employment. We know that social media sites can be a great source of information about prospective or current employees. And employers are rightfully concerned about whether prospective or current employees are a potential source of embarrassment. And with current employees, employers may worry about inadvertent disclosures of confidential information. The proposed laws don’t aim to stop employers from checking out publicly available information. These laws would stop employers from forcing employees or applicants to give up access to non-public information. It’s a “right to know” vs. “right to privacy.” It will be interesting to see which side wins. When you read the linked post, though, make sure you check out the last part which lists the risks that employers face when they check out employees and applicants on social media sites. Aside from any new legislation, these risks should make employers think twice about just how much they want to know.