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Illinois Becomes Latest State to Address Social Media Privacy

On August 1, 2012, Illinois became the second state to pass a workplace social media law. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 15 states are evaluating similar laws related to Social Media privacy.

Illinois’ new law becomes effective on January 1, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 2782 on August 1, 2012.  This legislation will prohibit emploers from requiring their employees and potential employees to disclose user names and/or passwords from social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter.  It joins Maryland as the only states which have passed such laws.  The law also prohibits employers from requiring employees or applicants to show them their account or profile.

There are some exceptions for employers, however.  Employers can have policies which allow them to monitor computer and e-mail usage on their systems.  Also, an employer can review anything out in the public domain.    Employers should be always question whether it is worthwhile to seek this information. If you are in Illinois or Maryland, it’s a no no.