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The Social Media “Professional” Account and Workplace Privacy

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The Social Media “Professional” Account and Workplace Privacy

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IT Alert September 3, 2013

The Social Media “Professional” Account and Workplace Privacy: A dozen states, including Michigan, have enacted workplace privacy laws that generally ban employers from asking employees and job applicants for password and log-in information for social media accounts. Several more states have similar legislation pending.

In Illinois, the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act was just amended to exclude social media “professional” accounts from the scope of the law. (SB2306) The amendment defines a professional account as “an account, service, or profile created, maintained, used, or accessed by a current or prospective employee for business purposes of the employer.” By contrast, a personal account is defined as one used “exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purposes of the employer”.

SB2306 takes effect January 1, 2014. It is foreseeable that other states could consider scaling back their respective workplace privacy laws or pending legislation to exclude social media used by employees for employers’ business purposes. The text of the amendment is available here.

Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding social media law or any other information technology law question.

 © 2013 Ossian Law P.C.
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