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Maryland Suspends Facebook Password Policy for Job Interviews

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February 23, 2011

Last week, we told you about the case of Maryland corrections officer Robert Collins, who was required to give his Facebook login info during a recertification interview for his job. The ACLU of Maryland sent a letter to Public Safety Secretary Gary Maynard informing him that demanding Officer Collins’ Facebook password was a gross breach of privacy and raised significant legal concerns under the Federal Stored Communications Act and Maryland state law.

We’re pleased to report that yesterday, Secretary Maynard wrote back and informed us that he has suspended the social media password requirement for 45 days pending a review of this policy! In his letter to Sara Love, President of the ACLU of Maryland, Secretary Maynard writes: “I have received approximately 120 similar emails from your membership stating basically the same disagreement with their perception of our practice.”

The Washington Post, USA Today‘s Technology Live blog, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer have all covered Officer Collins’ case. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic writes:

[…]Keep in mind that this isn’t looking at what you’ve posted to a public Twitter account; the government agency here could look through private Facebook messages, which seems a lot like reading through your mail, paper or digital.

Thanks to everyone who wrote Secretary Maynard, and stay tuned for more developments in this story!

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