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Bill Prohibits Employers/Schools from Accessing Social Media Passwords

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Most of us use social media outlets to keep friends and loved ones up to date with our day to day lives. A lot of times those updates are of a personal nature, not the kind you necessarily want to share with your boss. However, at some jobs, you might not have a choice. That's what Rep. Nate Steel learned when he wrote HB1901 and HB1902.

"I've seen several employment contracts and memos since I filed the bill that did exactly what we're trying to avoid which is required people to give their personal account information as a condition of employment," said Steel.

Policies like a recent one written by the Conway Fire Department. Some firefighters balked at giving up their passwords, and the policy is currently being reviewed by the city attorney. Steel believes most people think a policy like that crosses the line, but many will sign it without objecting because they want to get or keep the job.

"In today's economy, people are willing to do just about whatever it takes to get employed, so we didn't want employers or departments of higher education to be tempted to use that bargaining position to request personal information that we don't believe they're entitled to," said Steel.

Facebook's terms of use already prohibits sharing your password, but Steel says that is often ignored and the law needs to make it clear.

"I think most employers know that it's not appropriate. There are a few that don't, and those are who we're addressing," said Steel.

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