The agency that controls Maryland’s prisons announced Wednesday that it would no longer require candidates for hire to submit user name and password information related to social media websites.
The policy change was instituted after a complaint was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in February. The organization charged that an officer looking to return to work after taking some personal leave was asked to divulge his Facebook username and password as a requirement for employment.
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services also said that applicants would be informed that the portion of the interview process dealing with social media is completely voluntary. Agency personnel will communicate this both orally and in writing.
DCPSCS said that it seeks information from social media websites to help eliminate applicants with criminal histories or relationships to gangs. They said that the policy has helped them disqualify at least seven applicants.