Maryland first state to OK password protection bill

Maryland is poised to become the first state to ban employers from demanding applicants or workers hand over their log-in information for social media sites like Facebook.

The measure, which handily passed the legislature earlier this month, keeps managers from snooping on password-protected content, a practice advocates of the bill say violates privacy and intimidates job seekers and employees.

Robert Collins, a former corrections officer in Maryland, said he was asked for his Facebook account information while being recertified for his job following a leave of absence.

Collins, who lives in Baltimore, complied with the request, but said he felt embarrassed and violated as an interviewer roamed his private messages, pictures and posts.

“It almost seemed that my compliance was compulsory,” Collins said.

The voluntary social media screening for correctional officers, not all employees, is a natural extension of an already “inherently intrusive” background check for people working in law enforcement, said Rick Binetti, executive director of communications for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

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