Social Media

Maryland is the first state to have both houses pass a bill that prohibits employers from requesting access to employees' or potential employees' private social media accounts.  The bills, SB 433 and HB 964, are a response to the uproar caused by employers asking job applicants for the usersnames and/or passwords to their private Facebook and other social media accounts.  Maryland is the first state to have a such legsilation pass both houses, but state legislators in California, Illinois and Michigan are also acting on the issue.  Governor O'Malley has not yet signed the bill, which would, if signed, go into effect on October 1, 2012.

For those of you attending CSG's 2012 National Leadership Conference, please check out one of the many breakout sessions hosted by The National Leadership Center.  We will be focusing on technology and public relations training to help state leaders share capitol ideas with the latest tools in social media and the Web.  CSG believes in the power of of sharing capitol ideas, and we want to help our members overcome any technological literacy or public relations etiquette challenges that prevent them from taking advantage of these new platforms.

A teacher's aide in Michigan claims that she was fired because she would not give the school access to her Facebook account.  This latest incident is part of a string of incidents involving employers requesting access to their employees' or potential employees' accounts.  The issue has become increasingly high profile with Facebook announcing their disapproval of the process and state legislators moving to address constituents' alarm.  One such bill has passed the Illinois House.

As noted in this blog earlier, state lawmakers have been at the forefront of addressing the privacy of Facebook accounts.  Employers and schools have been requesting the usernames and passwords of potential employees and students, even though such policies are in violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights & Responsibilites.  A bill was filed in Maryland after institutions began to request the passwords of star athletes.  Lawmakers in Illinois are also working to address these issues.  Now, Facebook has released an official statement condemning the practice of employers askings for their employees' or potential employees' account passwords.

Staff from CSG’s National Leadership Center presented the webinar Protecting Your Online Identity as part of its series, Sharing Capitol Ideas 2.0.  CSG recognizes that state leaders face a new reality: the public expects them to be accessible on social media and the web, but these tools open up a range of public relations and technological literacy challenges.  Given that many state leaders may not have the resources for a communications staff to manage their online identity, CSG seeks to help educate state leaders through this programing.