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Using Social Media To Vet Applicants

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – From the state that houses the headquarters for Google, which consequently allows you to search for information about anyone and anything, comes a new law in the governing of your internet information.

Uproar ensued last spring after it was reported that the Maryland Department of Public Safety required all applicants to provide their Facebook passwords when they applied for a job. In response, the Maryland legislature outlawed the practice for employers in the state to ask for social media passwords.

Its neighbor, the state of Delaware, banned the practice for schools to use in screening student applicants. Now, the State of California has just become the first state in the country to ban both employers and schools from asking for social media passwords in the vetting process.

It is likely that other states will soon follow suit. That said, there is no law in any state that prevents anyone – employers, schools, or prospective blind dates – from looking at your Facebook or other social media account if it’s public, or from sending you a friend request or – the easiest of all – simply Googling you, which is still quite legal.

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