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Archive for Sunday, January 27, 2013

Proposed legislation aimed at online privacy, including employers’ access to Facebook and Twitter accounts

January 27, 2013

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Employers and post-secondary institutions may soon have minimized access to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of employees or students.

State Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, has introduced three bills — House Bills 2092, 2093 and 2094 — that are each directed at a different aspect of electronic privacy.

Under HB 2092, an employer may not request or demand access to the social media accounts of an employee or potential employee.

“From someone’s Facebook or Twitter account, they can get their race, age, identity and a lot of their personal information that, on a federal level, is illegal to ask,” Finney said. “It would be illegal for an employer to come to my home physically for that information, and my social media home is no different.”

Kansas isn’t the only state concerned with online privacy. Other state legislators have already implemented laws regarding social media. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey passed legislation last year that prohibits requesting or demanding access to the social media accounts of applicants, students or employees. A total of 14 states introduced legislation in 2012 that restricts employers from requesting social media user names and passwords.

Finney did acknowledge that accessing social media profiles could benefit employers during the hiring process.

“They want to make sure that they are hiring someone with integrity. They want to look at their credibility and character, and I can understand that,” Finney said. “However, I just don’t think it’s right.”

HB 2094 would give the same rights to students at public and private colleges and universities.

The third bill aims to protect the identities of social media users by prohibiting someone from creating false accounts on social media websites for the purpose of harassment. For example, an individual could not identify himself or herself under the name or photo of someone else without consent.

“I’m a Facebook user, a Twitter user, and I see a lot of activity,” Finney said. “This is a matter of personal privacy.”

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

Republican big government despises citizen privacy. They need serious therapy. And they need to resign from office STAT.

2

avarom 1 year, 2 months ago

Credit Card Companies sell your information to Third Parties all the time.....they probably know more about You, then some of your relatives...don't kid yourselves...and if you have a Smart Phone...they even know more about you through your web searches....emails....and texting....credit cards....debit cards....hospital visits........nothing private any more.. Nothing.....Smart Phones are a GPS tracking device...........and if you have Intranet TV........even more so.... You All Are an Open Book! Yup!

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kuguardgrl13 1 year, 2 months ago

"The third bill aims to protect the identities of social media users by prohibiting someone from creating false accounts on social media websites for the purpose of harassment. For example, an individual could not identify himself or herself under the name or photo of someone else without consent."

Wonder how that will impact the fake Twitter accounts associated with Jeff Withey (@FakeJeffWithey) and other players and coaches at KU. Athletics has actually taken to using them as marketing tools because they're so popular with students and fans.

0

jhawkinsf 1 year, 2 months ago

Online privacy is an oxymoron.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months ago

This will not pass-- the right-wing business owners that control the actions of this legislature want the ability to spy on their employees.

6

KS 1 year, 2 months ago

If one uses an employer owned computer (while on the job) to gain access into social media accounts, I would believe the employer has a right to the data. Employers own the computer and there are rights to them. The key is to not use a company computer for personal purposes. I agree that that an employer should not have access otherwise.

1

hujiko 1 year, 2 months ago

If these bills pass, how exactly will our wonderful Governor demand apologies from unruly high school students?

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