No Surfing Allowed: A Review and Analysis of Legislation Prohibiting Employers from Demanding Access to Employees’ and Job Applicants’ Social Media Accounts

33 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Robert Sprague

Robert Sprague

University of Wyoming - College of Business

Date Written: July 8, 2014

Abstract

This article examines recent state legislation prohibiting employers from requesting username and password information from employees and job applicants in order to access restricted portions of those employees’ and job applicants’ personal social media accounts. This article raises the issue of whether this legislation is even needed, from both practical and legal perspectives, focusing on: (a) how prevalent the practice is of requesting employees’ and job applicants’ social media access information; (b) whether alternative laws already exist which prohibit employers from requesting employees’ and job applicants’ social media access information; and (c) whether any benefits can be derived from this legislative output. After analyzing the potential impact of this legislation on employees, job applicants, and employers, this article concludes that such legislation is but an answer seeking a problem and raises more questions than it answers.

Keywords: social media, employee privacy

Suggested Citation

Sprague, Robert, No Surfing Allowed: A Review and Analysis of Legislation Prohibiting Employers from Demanding Access to Employees’ and Job Applicants’ Social Media Accounts (July 8, 2014). Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 24(3), 481-513 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2390256 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2390256

Robert Sprague (Contact Author)

University of Wyoming - College of Business ( email )

1000 E. University Avenue
Dept. 3275
Laramie, WY 82071
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.uwyo.edu/mgtmkt/faculty-staff/faculty-pages/sprague.html

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