Employers In Illinois Can’t Ask For Facebook Passwords

Illinois Wednesday joined several other states around the country in the fight to keep Facebook login information private from employers. Gov. Pat Quinn signed what has become known as the “Facebook bill,” preventing employers in Illinois from asking for a worker’s password on social media sites.

While an employer cannot request a worker’s password, it can still ask for a user name, to check public posts. (Here’s how to adjust your Facebook privacy settings.) Some states — such as Washington, Delaware, and New Jersey — are looking into enacting similar laws. However, this movement has not gained traction on a national level. Maryland has already declared that social networking passwords are off-limits to employers; California is close to doing so.

The law will go into effect in Illinois Jan. 1. Quinn said in a Chicago Tribune story that it’s necessary for his state to pass this law to keep up with evolving technology:

It’s important to understand that even though we live in an information world, a very fast-paced world where we can get information in split-seconds, there’s some information … that belongs just to the person. If they want to share it, that’s their business, but privacy is a fundamental right.

Bosses who violate this new law can be taken to court, with a minimum fine of $200.

Readers: Has an employer ever asked you for your Facebook login information? How did you respond?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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