Over the past year we have seen more than a few companies start asking employees, and those applying for jobs, to start coughing up their various social media accounts login details causing an uproar every time. Slowly states have begun to come to the defense of these employees and future employees with legislation outlawing this type of employment requirement.
I remember writing at another blog the first time news broke that a state agency was requiring new job applicants to provide their Facebook and Twitter login information. The uproar that followed was immense; and well deserved, so it was no surprise that the agency ended up backing down on the request.
So it's rewarding to see a state government that is willing to come to their citizen's rescue and stop companies trying to do this; which is exactly what Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has done by signing new legislation which bars companies and schools from asking employees and students for their social media usernames and passwords.
In the press release announcing the signing Gov. Synder said that protecting the private internet accounts of the state's residents was of prime importance, and that employees and students should be judged by their skills and abilities not their private online activity. So under this new law employers cannot discipline, or decide not to hire job applicants, if they refuse to hand over their access information; including names, passwords, login information or any other information that protects access to a personal internet account.
The same rules apply to universities and schools when it comes to the students or those applying for admission. The only exception to this law is when it relates to any internet accounts owned by a company or educational institution, such as e-mail.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Federation of Independent Business have both endorsed the Michigan bill.