House Bill 5523, a bill sponsored by State Rep. Aric Nesbitt, was approved by the House Energy and Technology Committee Tuesday (June 5) with strong bipartisan support. The legislation prohibits employers from asking applicants and employees for passwords and other account login information for any private Internet account, including social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The bill also keeps employers from firing someone or failing to hire someone if they do not provide the account access.
“While our technological advances are beneficial, we must ensure that our laws protecting private information advance, as well. Social networking sites allow individuals to distinguish between public and private information. Employers and educational institutions should respect that distinction,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “People have the right to share certain parts of their lives with the public, while sharing other parts with only friends and family. Why should privacy barriers be eliminated due to technological advancements? They shouldn’t.”
Nesbitt’s legislation also prohibits educational institutions from asking for private account information, and penalizes them for dismissing or failing to admit a student who does not provide such details.
For additional information about the legislation through an article in The Detroit News, click on the following link: Bill would ban employers from seeking social media, email passwords.
Source: News release from state Representative Aric Nesbitt