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MD Bill to Protect Online Passwords from Employers

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News 4's Jane Watrel has more on the latest push for Internet password privacy rights in Maryland.

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A proposed law in Maryland aims to keep access to job candidate's social media accounts off limits for prospective employers.

House Bill 964, currently in the House Economic Matters committee, would prohibit employers from making job candidates disclose their passwords to social media or other online accounts as a condition of employment.

On Wednesday, the ACLU will testify in support of the bill.

“Job applicants and employees should not have to give up their First Amendment rights as well as risk the security of their private information by being forced to divulge their passwords to accounts in order to gain or maintain employment," said Melissa Goemann, legislative director for ACLU Maryland.

The bill was sponsored by a handful of delegates, including Shane Robinson and Aruna Miller from Montgomery County, and one Republican, Michael D. Smiegel from District 36.  Text of the proposed law is available here.

In February of 2011, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services came under scrutiny after Robert Collins, who was applying for recertification with the agency, says he was asked to disclose his Facebook username and password.

The department initially said it reserved the right to ask for such information, but then later discontinued the practice.

The House committee is scheduled to discuss the bill at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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