DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL SUPPORTS SOCIAL MEDIA PASSWORD PRIVACY BILL

Bills limiting employer access to the personal social media accounts of employees and job applicants have been enacted across the U.S., and Delaware may become one of the next states now that its attorney general called for the state to pass a similar measure.

In an April 17 news conference, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn (D) announced support for a password privacy bill (H.B. 109), along with three other measures regulating online privacy. The bill would limit company access to the login credentials of current or prospective employees’ personal accounts.

However, the attorney general’s office said in a statement that the bill “does respect employers’ rights to investigate and penalize conduct which harms or reflects poorly on the employer” and “does not restrict employers’ existing control over accounts created for their business purposes.”

“More and more, people are including a lot of personal information on their social media sites. Giving an employer or potential employer access to those accounts is akin to letting a stranger read your personal journal,” said Rep. Bryon Short (D), a sponsor of H.B. 109.

Similar measures have been enacted this year in Montana and Virginia. Twenty states limit employer access to personal social media accounts (see map).

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