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Gov. Snyder Signs Legislation Protecting Michiganders’ Online Privacy

Schools and businesses cannot ask employees for passwords for personal social media accounts.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Dec. 28 protecting the online privacy of Michiganders by prohibiting employers and educational institutions from asking applicants, employees and students for passwords and other account information used to access private Internet and email accounts, including social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

House Bill 5523, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, also penalizes educational institutions for dismissing or failing to admit a student who does not provide such details.

“Cyber security is important to the reinvention of Michigan, and protecting the private Internet accounts of residents is a part of that,” Snyder said. “Potential employees and students should be judged on their skills and abilities, not private online activity.”

HB 5523 is now Public Act 478 of 2012.

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