The law, which is an amendment to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 55/10), takes effect on Jan. 1. It protects both current employees and prospective hires. Notably, the legislation, does not stop employers from viewing information that is not restricted by privacy settings on a website. Employers are also free to set workplace policies on the use of the internet, social networking sites, and email.
The only other state with a similar law is Maryland. However, several other states are considering similar bans, including Washington, Delaware and New Jersey. Additionally, two federal bills have been proposed.
This legislation was a response to a recent trend where some employers started asking for prospective employees's passwords to their personal accounts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.