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Nevada Becomes State #11 to Enact Social Media Password Protection Legislation

Nevada has joined the growing list of states that have enacted “social media password protection” legislation that restricts employers’ access to applicants’ and employees’ personal social media accounts. The full roster of states with such laws now includes: Arkansas; California; Colorado; Illinois; Maryland; Michigan; Nevada; New Mexico; Oregon; Utah; and Washington. The Nevada law goes into effect on October 1, 2013. The Nevada law prohibits employers only from requesting or requiring that applicants or employees provide their user name, password, or other information needed to gain access to a personal social media account, as well as adverse employment action based upon a refusal to comply with such a request. This prohibition is narrower than that seen in many password protection laws which typically also prohibit employers from “shoulder surfing,” from compelling an employee or applicant to accept a friend or connection request and/or from requiring that an employee or applicant change privacy settings to permit the employer access to his or her restricted, personal social media account.

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