The risks of accessing an employee’s Facebook account

Even if your state is one of the many that doesn’t have a statute specifying legal parameters for such actions, you’d be wise to tread lightly, lest you trudge into dangerous legal territory.

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There are 11 states with social media workplace privacy laws making it illegal for an employer to require that an employee or applicant fork over a social media login and password.

If your company is in one of the other 39 states and assumes that it has the green light to engage in such shenanigans, you’d better check yourself before you do so, according to this recent New Jersey federal court decision.

The case involved a situation in which the plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, alleged that a member of upper management required that another employee access the plaintiff’s Facebook account. Although these allegations didn’t bear fruit, the court warned that certain employer behavior could amount to “invasion of privacy.”

Violating the Stored Communications Act

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