While this should certainly come as no shock, a new FindLaw.com survey found that Americans overwhelmingly oppose allowing their bosses to obtain their social media passwords.

According to the survey, eighty-three percent of American adults say that employers should not be allowed to obtain passwords to personal social media accounts, such as Facebook and YouTube. Only seven percent of people surveyed said it was okay for employers to have their social network passwords. Ten percent were unsure. The FindLaw.com survey also found that only three percent of American adults say that an employer has ever asked them to turn over their social media passwords.

But this all begs the question: why would an employer ever need employee social media passwords? Well, some employers argue that access to personal accounts is needed to protect proprietary information or trade secrets, to comply with federal financial regulations, or to prevent the employer from being exposed to legal liabilities. Still, others consider requiring access to personal Internet accounts an invasion of employee privacy.

A scan of pending and newly enacted legislation shows at least ten states have passed laws that prevent employers from requesting passwords to personal Internet accounts in order to get or keep a job, according to Westlaw and the National Association of State Legislatures. Legislation has been introduced or is pending in at least twenty-six additional states. Similar legislation was introduced in Congress earlier this year but failed to pass.

In addition, some states have similar legislation to prevent public colleges and universities from obtaining access to students’ social networking accounts.

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