Digital Privacy and the Workplace


House Bill 1047, currently under consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives, would make it legal for employers to ask employees for their personal social media passwords. Under legislation that took effect July 1, 2012, it’s currently against the law to do so. According to some, it’s a severe violation of privacy for employers to be able to ask for social media account information, but State Representative Jim Durkin defends the bill saying that employers need to have agency to protect themselves against threats and theft. He also says that as the bill is written, employers can’t take action against employees who refuse to share their information.

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the intersection of digital privacy and the workplace. Statehouse Reporter Amanda Vinicky will give us an update about the status of the legislation and then Law Professor Lori Andrews joins us. She’s written a social media constitution and is author of the book “I Know Who You Are, I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.” Representative Durkin, who is from Western Springs, also joins the conversation.

Would you be concerned if your employer could legally ask for your social media passwords? Are you a manager and think you should be able to ask? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!