Illinois Employers Cannot Ask For Social Networking Login/Password

On August 1, 2012 Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 3782 making it unlawful in Illinois for an employer to either request or require employees or prospective employees to provide passwords or account information in order to gain access to any account or profile on social networking websites. Additionally, an employer cannot demand access in any manner to an employee’s or prospective employee’s social networking accounts or profiles.

Social Networking websites are defined as any internet based service that allows individuals to:

A. Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, created by the service;
B. Create a list of other users with whom they share a connection within the system; and
C. View and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Social Networking does not include email.

The new law does not prevent an employer from making workplace policies governing the use of the employer’s electronic equipment, including policies regarding internet, social networking site and electronic mail usage. Nor does the law prevent an employer from monitoring usage of the employer’s electronic equipment and the employer’s electronic mail.

Employers can still view information that this not restricted by the privacy settings on a social networking site.

This essentially means an employee cannot ask for access to the private information of an employee or prospective employee on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, etc. However, anything an employee places in the public domain is fair game.

A copy of HB3782 can be found here.

If you have any questions or would like a more detailed discussion of this law, please contact Rick Stewart at (314) 862-0284 or

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