Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Motley Fool

Market Foolery Featured Podcasts

  • Investing in the UK
    Dominic Jermey, CEO of UK Trade & Investment, stops by Fool HQ to discuss the investing landscape in the UK and why pension reform is so important for individuals.  In this special Friday edition of MarketFoolery, the guys also discuss individual stocks and play a round of “Buy, Sell or Hold.”
  • Facebook’s Growth & McDonald’s New CEO
    McDonald’s is lovin’ a new CEO.  Facebook’s mobile growth continues to astonish.  And Harley-Davidson struggles with a strong U.S. dollar.  Motley Fool Funds analyst Bill Barker discusses those stories and vast spectrum of Super Bowl snacks.
  • Apple, China & the iPhone’s Biggest Question
    Apple reports record profits, but as Motley Fool Funds analyst Tim Hanson points out, there is still one important question looming over the iPhone business.  Tim analyzes the recent elections in Greece and the investing landscape in China.  Plus he shares a key travel tip for anyone seeking good local cuisine.
Capital Business
Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 04/10/2012

Maryland lawmakers approve bill barring employers from collecting Facebook passwords

Maryland lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on a tax bill and a
Maryland employers are no longer allowed to ask workers and job applicants for personal passwords to social media sites like Facebook. (Justin Sullivan - Getty Images)
proposal to build a casino in Prince George’s County by the end of the legislative session Monday. But they did agree on one thing: Employers cannot require workers and job applicants to hand over passwords to private social media accounts as a condition of employment.

Maryland is the first state to pass such a law; similar measures are pending in California, Illinois and Michigan.

SB 433 (HB 964) doesn’t mention social media platforms by name, but the issue surfaced last year after Robert Collins, a former officer with the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, complained about being asked to provide his Facebook log in information during a recertification interview. The department in 2010 began asking prospective employees for user names and passwords to Facebook accounts as part of a background check to screen employees for gang affiliations, but suspended the practice after the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland filed a complaint on Collins’s behalf, claiming the practice violated his personal privacy.

A second bill, SB 434 (HB 746), that would have outlawed universities from requiring students and college applicants to disclose user names and passwords for personal electronic accounts passed in the Senate but died in the House. The bill came on the heels of a growing number of universities hiring third-party vendors to monitor student athletes’ Tweets and Facebook posts by having students install social media monitoring software onto personal electronic devices.

Brad Shear, a Bethesda attorney who worked with Sen. Ronald Young’s office on both bills, said banning employers from collecting password-protected information is a win for both employees and companies.

“It not only protects employees’ privacy, it also protects employers,” said Shear, who in 2010 helped draft Maryland’s election laws regulating candidates’ use of social media pages. “It protects [employers] from having to create new legal duties and liabilities and compliance costs.”

The legislation now heads to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 04/10/2012

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company