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Reminder! NYS Personal Account Privacy Protections

March 5, 2024

Beginning March 12, 2024, employers will be prohibited from electronically accessing employees’ and applicants’ personal accounts. What is a personal account, you ask? A personal account is an electronic account used exclusively for personal purposes, where users can create or share their own content. Examples include social media accounts, podcasts, blogs, and instant messages.


Specifically, employers can’t ask, require, or pressure employees or applicants to disclose login credentials, access their personal accounts in the employer’s presence, or reproduce information contained in their personal accounts.


The law contains some exceptions. For instance, employers are still allowed to make employees provide access information for nonpersonal accounts that provide access to the employer’s internal computer or systems, or accounts that are used for business purposes (though, in some cases, prior notice may be required). Employers can also still view, access, and use information about employees and applicants that is publicly available or doesn’t require special access.


Action Items

Make sure those involved in the hiring process, as well as managers, are aware of these prohibitions, and check your social media and electronic device policies to make sure they’re compliant.


Source:  Mineral News in NY – February 2024


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