Illinois to Firms: Paws Off Applicants' Facebook Logins

New law will make it illegal for them to request password info
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2012 2:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Good news, Illinois job seekers: Would-be employers are now legally barred from demanding your social media passwords and taking a gander at those margarita madness photos you thought only your friends could see. Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday signed a law that will make it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles—and with it, Illinois joins Maryland as just the second state to do so in the country.

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And the law, to go into effect Jan. 1, is pretty iron-clad: There are no exceptions granted, even for openings that require thorough background checks. But don't read that as a green light to throw privacy-related caution to the wind. The AP notes that the law doesn't prevent your future boss from searching social networks for any info on you that isn't kept off-limits via privacy settings. And one Illinois law professor says they are looking: Research shows 75% of employers require their human resources departments to look at online profiles before offering an applicant a job. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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