Employers Continue to Ask for Facebook Passwords - States Take Action

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.

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, and according to the Illinois General Assembly website, the bill:

Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. Provides that it shall be unlawful for any employer to ask any prospective employee to provide any username, password, or other related account information in order to gain access to a social networking website where that prospective employee maintains an account or profile.

This bill is complemented by similar action in other states.  Opponents of these bills argue that the legislation is unnecessary.