The state of Maryland has something to be proud of, after voting in a measure that would make them the first state to prohibit employers from asking potential employees for their Facebook passwords. The bill is to be reviewed later this year, among hundreds of others. This all comes at a time when the entire interweb is in uproar regarding the acceptance of asking for Facebook passwords into interview protocol among potential employees.
Time and Mashable have both covered this topic, and while Maryland is making a legal attempt to prevent this invasion of privacy, it must be noted that Maryland was among the posse of states that actually had an employer ask for a potential employees Facebook password. According to the Daily Online Examiner, the state corrections agency was asking for Facebook passwords.
While it seems as though the damage in Maryland has already been done, I’d like to point out that this measure is an excellent way for state legislation to tackle current legal problems that may arise with social media. It is unlawful to discriminate based off of race, religion, sex, etc. and it should be just as unlawful to discriminate based off of a Facebook profile. The purpose of the interview is to get to know the potential employee, measure the level of vibing that may occur between employer and employee, and ask questions that may potential air corporate dirty laundry (no one want’s that in their office). However, just as easy it is to go on someone’s Facebook page to analyze their datability, is it to analyze someone’s likeability at a company. While I am guilty of doing some Facebook stalking back in my college days, it is important to note that I wasn’t paying a potential suitor, having them sign any binding contracts (let’s not be silly), or involving U.S. State Departments in determining how qualified they are for the job.
Maryland is applauded for creating this measure, and hopefully the governor signs off on it and approves it, thereby setting an example for the rest of the nation. Private albums, private timeline posts, etc. that are viewable to “only me” should stay that way.
View full bill here
The bill protects currently employees as well as potential hires.
The bill passed in both House and Senate, according to Senate Bill 433
Roll Call Votes (Legislative dates are shown):Senate
- March 8, 2012: Third Reading Passed (44-0)
April 1, 2012: Third Reading Passed (128-10)
*not my image. not my image. sooo not my image. copyright goes to the person who made it.*