Robert Collins, a corrections officer from Baltimore, says that he was required to provide his Facebook password when he reapplied for his former job with the Maryland Division of Correction after a leave of absence.
He complained to the American Civil Liberties Union that his privacy had been invaded, and now the state Division of Correction has announced that it will suspend such demands for 45 days during a review of the matter.
Gary D. Maynard, secretary of the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, says that requesting Facebook passwords from applicants doesn’t come from a “desire to invade personal privacy, but rather from a legitimate and serious concern with the infiltration of gangs into our prisons.” The department might scour an applicant’s page for evidence of gang affiliation, for example.
Since you’d think any serious criminal would be savvy enough to delete problematic content before applying for a position with the Division of Correction, this seems like a violation of innocent applicants’ privacy that can’t possibly be effective enough to be justified.
Read more at the Baltimore Sun.