New Social Media Privacy Law Takes Shape in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s new social media policy law is distinct about what to expect from employer-employee requests for private social media access. Lawyers therefore advise that if questions arise, a consultation with an expert Rhode Island Lawyer can prevent expensive lawsuits and damage to the firm’s reputation.

What’s The New Social Media Privacy Law?

  • The law outlines that employers cannot ask for passwords or login information from employees for social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. The law is meant to protect the privacy of workers in the state of Rhode Island.
  • Employers cannot terminate or punish employees for refusing to do so.
  • Employers should not force employees to add them as contacts to their friend or follow list.
  • Employers cannot request third-party access to accounts.
  • In addition, workers can sue employers for requesting, terminating, or penalizing them.

Nevertheless, the law specifically declares that employers can view “public profiles” without legal repercussion. The law furthermore addresses legal access for investigation into employee misconduct or violations, including sexual harassment.

To expand on this law, other areas were addressed:

  • The Student Social Media Privacy Act – which prohibits educational institutions or professors to request similar passwords.
  • Student Data-Cloud Computing Act – cloud computing organizations cannot provide advertisers with access to student data.

When in doubt, contact John R. Grasso for a consultation.