Asking Prospective Employees to Provide Facebook Passwords Is a Risky Policy


Social media can be troubling for employers. Facebook has become a particular concern because it can be a platform for employees to leak confidential information, complain about customers, and badmouth supervisors.

While it is important for a company to have a clear social media policy, employee privacy rights cannot be overlooked. The Maryland Division of Corrections (DOC) exemplifies what can happen when an employer goes too far.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Maryland corrections officer Robert Collins was required to provide his Facebook login and password to the Maryland DOC during a recertification interview.  Once he provided it, the interviewer logged on to his Facebook account and reviewed the content.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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