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Posted on Tue, May 29, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Social media privacy: Bill would bar employers from requesting access to workers' accounts

By Cindy Heflin

Employers wouldn’t be able to request social media account information, such as user names and passwords, from employees or job applicants under a bill introduced in the Michigan House, MLive reported.


Some employers have requested job applicants Facebook log-in information, according to media reports, but the practice would be illegal under a bill introduced in the state House.

The bill, which would create the Social Network Account Privacy Act, also would prevent schools from requesting access to social media accounts.

The House Energy and Technology Committee on Tuesday took testimony on the bill.

The issue of employers seeking access to prospective employees' social media accounts has been gaining prominence, as questions arise over potential legal issues - and whether employers should be doing this.

Two U.S. Senators earlier this year called for an investigation into whether employers violated federal law when they asked job applicants for their Facebook passwords, according to a report in USA Today.


Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

I personally wouldn't care to read a the fb page of a prospective employee. You would end up never filling the job! LOL. Sometimes there is just too much information. Also, this is your own business and not theirs. Good job on this one, Lansing!


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

FINALLY! A good idea from the House!


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

It's sad that there is even the slightest need for such a law. What if there were no Facebook? Would prospective employers pay the wait staff at your local pub to listen to what you talk about with your friends? Or would we just take a step back in time, to the days when Henry Ford would just send detectives to your house to make sure you weren't being Jewish when you weren't at work? Giving up some personal privacy is one thing if you're applying for a government job that requires a security clearance or involves carrying a weapon, quite another if you want to work as a systems analyst for Acme Widget Corporation.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

Kids should be encouraged, nevertheless, to not post stuff they wouldn't want a prospective employer to see.


Thu, May 31, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

and if they do they should be smart enough to make it private, on most websites that is an option.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:47 a.m.

@u812, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA, not HIPPA.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

Hippa privacy laws are not entirely adhered to in the workplace either. good luck with this, hope it passes.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

Who would want to work for an employer who wanted to see this information? Not I, that is for certain. If I were asked, I would gladly take the opportunity to share some choice words with the individual interviewing me, followed promptly by my exit.


Thu, May 31, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

if there's ONE thing i've ever agreed with 'gonavy' on, this would be it. I was recently listening to a story on NPR where an employer asked the employee for his facebook password so he could log into it and read all of his messages/personal information and it was just preposterous... I can understand if they check you out on fb (the reason you have the option to make everything private) but asking for your personal password is beyond ridiculous. I would not work for a company that did that.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Thank you. It's YOUR FB page. Not THEIRS. You have the ability to have privacy settings. I think it's stupid to allow your boss to look at your FB. FB is a place for you to rant and rave about stuff. Your own personal space. Same with LJ. Your employers aren't going to ask to have access to THAT. What makes FB any different?