Controversial social networking password policy updated

Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has temporarily suspended the controversial policy that allowed its officials snoop around social networking accounts of prospective employees after having asked them to offer their login credentials voluntarily.

Was it is because someone finally decided to stand up to them or because many media outlets – including us – have reported about the letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union to the Services’ Secretary Gary Maynard, it’s impossible to tell for sure.

What can be said for sure is that the ACLU has played this very well – releasing a press release about the issue along with a video in which the corrections officer whose displeasure about the policy started this whole campaign was a clever move.

And even though the Department maintains that the re-certifying or potential employees gave up their login credentials voluntarily, and that the access to those accounts was needed only for checking if the applicants had any gang affiliations, it has decided “to review the procedure and to make sure it is being used consistently and appropriately.”

According to The Washington Post, screening employees for potential gang ties by interviewing their family and friends is not a new thing for Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, but according to an insider, giving up login credentials to social networking sites is not part of that process.

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