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Social media protections spread
Healthcare may be slow to unleash the power of social media, but providers are becoming increasingly more active at tweeting, liking, and friending—especially at the office. Because patient privacy can easily be violated by something as innocuous as a tweet, however, social media workplace policies are growing more important.
Utah and Colorado this week joined Illinois, California, Maryland, Arkansas, and New Mexico to pass social media workplace privacy laws. Washington state may be next.
Utah's Internet Employment Privacy Act (H.B. 100) officially took effect on Tuesday. It protects employee privacy across the platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Similar to those passed in other states this year, it prevent employers from requesting:
- Social media account usernames or passwords from current and potential employees
- That current and potential employees follow, friend, or connect with the employer/company
- That current and potential employees adjust their account privacy settings
But just as importantly, provisions of the law protect employers as well. Employers may circumvent these provisions if an employee has given the employer reason to investigate whether proprietary information may have been disseminated via social media.
Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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