You might think you've outsmarted your boss or future boss by controlling what they can see on your Facebook page, but that doesn't stop them from asking you to give them your password, allowing them to see everything.
It's currently legal for an employer to do that in Ohio, but legislation that had its first hearing in the Senate yesterday would make the practice illegal.
Any information that could be recovered by having access to someone's social-media account is " not associated or relevant to employment," said state Sen. Charletta Tavares, who introduced the bill.
Tavares, a Democrat from Columbus, called such practices a "violation of privacy," but she said the bill would not make it illegal for an employer to monitor what's public on an applicant's or employee's account.
Logging into someone else's personal social-media account could have effects other than just for the person who owns the account, said Dan Maas, spokesman for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"Not only is it a violation of the job-seeker's privacy, but these practices expose personal information belonging to the person's friends and family members who thought they were communicating privately," he said.
Beth Gianforcaro, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administrative Services, said individual agencies currently could employ the practice, but she didn't know if any were.
No Ohio Civil Service Employee Association members have reported being asked for their account information, said Sally Meckling, a spokeswoman for the union who offered support for the bill.
"Employees should have an expectation of privacy in their homes, and this bill looks like it helps to further that mission," she said.
Similar legislation has made its way to state legislatures across the country.
California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey passed similar legislation in 2012. Bills in at least 14 other states -- including Ohio -- were defeated.
At least 28 other states are considering making the practice illegal this year.
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