Milwaukee – The ACLU released a statement today applauding a bipartisan passage of a law personal internet use, and protection from searches by employers, schools, or landlords.  The law was in reaction to the fact that a growing number of employers and schools are demanding that job applicants, employees and students hand over the passwords to their private social networking accounts such as Facebook.


“Such demands constitute a grievous invasion of privacy. Private activities that would never be intruded upon offline should not receive less privacy protection simply because they take place online. It is inconceivable that an employer or school official would be permitted to read an applicant's or student's diary or postal mail, listen in on the chatter at their private gatherings with friends, or look at their private videos and photo albums. Nor should they expect the right to do the electronic equivalent,” said Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.


“Employers have a legitimate interest in monitoring work to ensure efficiency and productivity. But electronic surveillance often goes well beyond legitimate management concerns and becomes a tool for spying on employees that has no legitimate business interest.”


The ACLU of Wisconsin has approximately 6,000 members who support its efforts to defend the civil liberties and civil rights of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the work of the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our webpage. Find us on Facebook and Twitter at ACLUMadison and ACLUofWisconsin.