Feb. 22, 2011 at 4:22 PM ET
Enjoy scary movies? Then check out this video from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.
It tells the true story of Robert Collins, a nursing student, father and corrections supply officer with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Returning from a leave of absence following his mother's death, Collins was told that he'd have to hand over his Facebook password if he wanted to be reinstated. That this was now standard procedure.
"My personal communications, my personal posts, my personal pictures, looking at my personally identifiable information, where my religious beliefs, my political beliefs, my sexuality — all of these things are possibly disclosed on this page," Collins tells the camera. "It's absolute total invasion and overreach."
The demand was a standard requirement perhaps, but also a violation of the Federal Stored Communications Act, which makes it illegal for an employer or anyone else to access stored electronic communications without valid authorization. "If allowed to continue, this practice would permit the government to review wall postings, e-mail communications, and photographs posted privately by the friends and family of job applicants and employees undergoing recertification," the ACLU of Maryland said in a statement.