Monday, July 25, 2011

Maryland DoC responds to Facebook login uproar

Originally published 2/28/11 on

Tuesday I told you about the Maryland Dept. of Correction policy of asking applicants for their Facebook username and password. Later that day they issued the following statement:

"During the initial interview, or recertification processes, DPSCS does not require correctional officer applicants to provide any information related to social media. An applicant is asked if they are active users of social media. If so, the Department only asks if an applicant would provide this information. If any information is provided by an applicant, it is done so voluntarily. If an applicant does not provide this information, it is not held against them and the interview process moves forward.

The Department has a legitimate concern about the infiltration of gangs into our prison system. DPSCS' efforts to explore an applicant's behavior on social media networks is not done through a desire to invade personal privacy, rather it is an effort to make sure the safety and security of our staff and inmates inside our correctional institutions is not compromised.

However, in light of these concerns raised by the ACLU and because this is a newly emerging area in the law, the Department has suspended the process of asking for social media information for 45 days to review the procedure and to make sure it is being used consistently and appropriately."

It's good that they have suspended the policy. Hopefully a review will help them realize just how wrong requiring prospective employees to hand over their social media logins is.