Monday, July 25, 2011

Maryland Department of Correction requires new hires give Facebook login info

Originally published 2/21/11 on

Andrew Hoyle at CNet UK reports that the Maryland Division of Correction is is requiring new hires and recertifying employees to give full access to their Facebook accounts as part of the background checks. A recertifying employee, Robert Collins, is suing the Maryland DOC, saying their policy is intrusive and illegal under the US Stored Communications Act, as well as being against Facebook policies.

When Mr. Collins was being recertified he was told by an interviewer that he had to give his Facebook login information as part of the background check. The interviewer then logged into Collins Facebook account and made him wait while inspecting it.

The article closes with a question. Do you think that anything online should be fair game in background checks, especially if the job is legally sensitive? Or do you believe some things should private, regardless?

I think that demanding the Facebook login and using it to access the account is going too far. I can see the reasoning, but for many people Facebook is like their diary, just with more readers. Can an employer demand your diary?