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NJ Added to List of States Where Job Applicants Protected from Password Demands

New JerseyIn the world of social media there is nothing if there is not at least the illusion that one has some level of privacy.

It’s an illusion because we all know that that our data is available to marketers in many shapes and sizes. Heck, most of you reading this post are the ones who are looking to acquire as much information about your potential customers that you possibly can. There is nothing wrong with that and no apologies are necessary. It’s the way of the world.

What is not cool though is the idea of someone or something, in this case a potential employer, demanding that you turn over your social media passwords to do some ‘digging’ into your activities so they deem whether you are worthy of being part of the team. Honestly, I would have to be pretty desperate to hand over that information because I would like to think that I would never work for an employer that would make that demand. I have over these many years learned to never say never though so forget I even mentioned it.

So my home state of NJ (of which I am very proud so take your shots if you must in order to make yourself feel better about something or other that’s amiss for you) has added itself to the list of states that won’t allow employers to cross this line even if they wanted to. We read in The Record

New Jersey workers will be able to protect their personal Facebook accounts from their bosses’ eyes under a state law that went into effect Sunday.

Under the law, employers are banned from requiring employees and job applicants to turn over their passwords for their personal Facebook and other online accounts.

“The employer can’t coerce or require an employee to give up a password for a privacy-protected personal website,” said John Sarno, head of the Employers Association of New Jersey in Livingston.

So is this really a story? Yes only in that it reminds us all that there is nothing that is truly protected in this online existence of ours so any additional barriers that can be placed between ourselves and the prying eyes of others is at least helpful. Even if it just extends the illusion.

We’ll take what we can get, right?