ACLU-NJ Praises Privacy-in-Social-Media Bill, Calls for it to Cover Law Enforcement Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; The ACLU-NJ supports bills A2878 and A2879, which would prevent private and public employers from requesting job candidates’ social media logins and passwords as a condition for prospective employment. The ACLU strongly encourages the sponsor to make this very good bill even better by striking the bill’s current exemption denying law enforcement professionals the privacy afforded to other citizens. The bills were sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) and were released today following a hearing by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee. Ed Barocas, ACLU-NJ legal director, issues the following statement in response to the bill: “No one should have to make the choice between earning a living and keeping their personal information private, especially in our precarious economy. Overall, this bill represents a good-faith attempt from New Jersey to nip a disturbing national trend in the bud. However, it’s a mistake to single out law enforcement professionals as unworthy of a right that no one, regardless of their chosen profession, should have to part with in exchange for employment. In order to truly protect our fundamental rights to privacy and to free speech, people in all professions, including law enforcement, deserve the guarantee that their private information will stay private.”