Employers in two American states will now be banned by law from demanding access to their employees’ social media accounts.
Previously, workers were not protected by law if employers demanded access to their password-protected social networks, including Mark Zuckerberg’s data mining operation, Facebook.
Over 400 measures, including others that dealt with topics from consumper protection to healthcare, were proposed and enacted in 2012. The social network protection law and some others took effect 1 January, 2013, while more will be made law later this year.
Although workers are exempt from bosses bullying their way into privately held accounts, the laws do not extend to protecting against information found publicly or otherwise on social networks – they just prevent private access. This means openly tweeting about a boss’s intrusive web snooping could still land workers in trouble.
Those who appreciate tinfoil headwear should also keep in mind the data held by these networks is still accessible for law enforcement.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, schools can be punished in any cases where they refuse to admit students because they did not want to provide personal information like passwords for private social networking and email accounts.