New Michigan Law Keeps Students’, Employees’ Social Media Accounts Private

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Michigan has a new law that bans employers and schools requiring the passwords to social media accounts owned by potential employees, workers and students.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law House Bill 5523 penned by Representative Aric Nesbitt and is now Public Act 478 of 2012.

“Cyber security is important to the reinvention of Michigan, and protecting the private internet accounts of residents is a part of that,” the governor said.

“Potential employees and students should be judged on their skills and abilities, not private online activity,” he added.

The law punishes companies and educational institutions if they require their applicants, employees and students to divulge their passwords to private accounts like emails and social media profiles.

The development comes after several similar laws have been passed by other states.

In California, it is illegal for companies to require social media account passwords. Public and private schools in Delaware also cannot require social media accounts from their students. Maryland also has a law that protects social media accounts.

 Social Media, Michigan, Law, PA 478 2012,

Image from Maia C on Flickr (CC)