Illinois Makes It Illegal For Employers to Ask For Social Networking Passwords

On August 1, 2012, Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 97-0875which amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to prohibit employers from asking employees and job applicants to supply their passwords to social networking profiles such as Facebook and Twitter.  However, the law does not stop employers from viewing information that is publicly available online and not restricted by privacy settings.  Employers are also free to set workplace policies on the use of the Internet, social networking sites and email and to monitor workplace computer usage.  The law will take effect on January 1, 2013.

Penalties for violating the new law would start at fines between $100 and $300.  Illinois is only the third state to pass such a law (joining Maryland and Delaware).

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