Michigan Bans Employers, Schools From Demanding Access To Facebook Passwords

By David Cohen 

Michigan became the latest state to address the issue of employers seeking access to their employees’ passwords to Facebook and other social networks, as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill introduced by Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) into law, prohibiting companies and schools from seeking social media user names and passwords.

MLive reported on the passage of the bill, saying that employers are now forbidden from disciplining employees or rejecting job applicants who refuse to turn over their social media credentials, and adding that the same restrictions apply to universities, but not to accounts owned by those companies or schools.

Snyder said in a statement, as reported by MLive:

Cyber security is important to the reinvention of Michigan, and protecting the private Internet accounts of residents is a part of that. Potential employees and students should be judged on their skills and abilities, not private online activity.

Nesbitt added, according to MLive:

Let’s get the parameters out there. Let’s demonstrate that there are limits.

Similar legislation passed earlier this year in California, Illinois, and Maryland.

Readers: Do you agree that employers and schools should not have the right to demand access to the social media accounts of employees, potential employees, students, or potential students?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.