Oregon Senate GOP moves to protect Facebook passwords from employers


Oregon Senate Republicans

Senators introduce Social Networking Privacy Protection Act

Salem, OR — Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro), Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis) and Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) have introduced legislation to safeguard the privacy of individuals on social networking sites.

“Social networking has blurred the lines of personal privacy,” said Starr. “This bill will hopefully set some boundaries, and continue to protect an individual’s right to a personal life.”

Some employers have required job applicants to provide user names and passwords for their social networking accounts like Facebook. Even if access is not required, often times it is strongly suggested, leaving applicants feeling coerced into surrendering access.

Senate Bill 499, the Social Networking Privacy Protection Act, prohibits employers and universities, both public and private, from requiring applicants to turn over passwords to their social networking or email accounts. Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, and California have passed similar legislation.

“An employer or university wouldn’t ask for access to someone’s home or personal diary,” said Close. “Demanding login information for social networking sites is just as invasive, if not more so. An individual’s right to privacy should extend to their life on the internet.”

“Employers would still be allowed to review the public portion of a potential hire’s profile or conduct a traditional background check,” said Knopp. “But to make access to someone’s personal online information a condition of employment just isn’t fair.”

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Posted by at 05:58 | Posted in OR 77th Legislative Session, Oregon Senate, Privacy | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • mike

    I am proud of all my Facebook postings and would gladly share my log on information and password with my employer. I see nothing wrong with them learning more about me, my passions, and my life outside work.

  • scatcatpdx

    Unfortunately I have to be for this. Where its the employers business to know about my private life. I see this as an overstep.
    Second in the age of political correctness and age discrimination I do want my private interest to work against me. For example I am an Anime Fan and a Furry and a male who collects Hello Kitty items. THs has noting do about my ability to do the job. Worst I am in my Fifties, and Orthodox Anglican and Reform doctrinally Christian. If I had a Facebook, would my future employee who is liberal secularist use it to discriminate against me?
    No If I had a face book it my business alone.

    • 3H

      Not if you were applying to me. But then, I wouldn’t check or care.

      Now, a socially and religiously conservative christian employer may have an issue hiring you.

      I think this is a decent law, and good for Starr, Close and Knopp. It’ll be interesting to see who opposes it (if anyone does).

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