Several reports surfaced recently about employers asking job applicants for passwords to Facebook and other social networks — Facebook quickly came out against this practice, and several states started drafting bills to prevent this sort of behavior. Now, Maryland has become the first state to pass a law banning employers from asking for social media passwords. The bill unanomously passed in the Senate last week and by a vote of 128-10 in the House; it now awaits signature by Maryland governor Martin O'Malley. While the Senate and House bills were voted on last week, they needed to be reconciled by the end of yesterday's legislative sessions to move on to await the governor's approval.
While this issue has gotten a lot of publicity recently thanks to an Associated Press report, Maryland's ACLU has been working since 2011 to get attention for Robert Collins, a Division of Corrections officer who was required to give up his Facebook password during a DOC re-certification interview. While Maryland is the first state to pass such legislation, it likely won't be the only one for long — Illinois and California have both introduced similar pieces of legislation, and senators from New York and Connecticut have both asked the US Attorney General to prohibit this practice.