Illinois Governor Signs Facebook Bill Into Law Barring Companies From Access to Workers’ Passwords & Online Accounts
Starting January 1st, 2013, Illinois businesses will not be able to ask for passwords and request access to their workers’ social media accounts.
The “Facebook Bill” was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Pat Quinn on the campus of IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) and is aimed at protecting the online privacy rights of workers and job applicants.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago after several of his constituents notified his office of employers that asked for a list of passwords on job applications.
Governor Quinn spoke of the importance of the new law and keeping up with fast-evolving technology.
As quoted in the Chicago Tribune,
“It’s important to understand that even though we live in an information world, a very fast-paced world where we can get information in split-seconds, there’s some information… that belongs just to the person,” Quinn said. “If they want to share it, that’s their business, but privacy is a fundamental right.”
Businesses can view publicly accessible profile pages or posts, but businesses that violate the new law against requesting access to private sections of an online profile will be taken to court and fined a minimum of $200.
While the new state law only applies to businesses in Illinois, it’s sure to spark another fiery debate about online privacy rights in the workplace across the U.S. and in other countries around the world.
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW: What do you think of the new “Facebook Law?” Should businesses be able to ask for passwords and request access to their workers’ online social media accounts?
To contact the writer on this story: Philip Nowak in Chicago at [email protected] Please contact us if you’d like to submit a small business innovation story or small business tech startup, product or service.
Philip Nowak is the founder of Firmology, a small business news and information media company focused on helping small business owners grow their business through technology and innovation. You can find Philip on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn