Bill restricts access to social media of employees, jobseekers

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- A Florida lawmaker is trying for a third time to pass a bill that would ban businesses from being allowed to ask for an employee or prospective employee's social media passwords.

Thirty states currently prohibit the practice. State Senator Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, says employers should be able to use existing ways of examining people's profiles on places like Facebook and Twitter without having to resort to getting passwords.

"Social media is obviously increasingly being used to communicate, and we live in a digital age where privacy is eroding, and we need to do whatever we can to protect that," said Sen. Clemons. "It would be akin to them coming to your house and wanting to open your mail. I mean these are your private thoughts. It's your private intellectual statements."

Opponents of the measure have cited concerns over liability to employers for what employees post on social media. 

The Florida Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism has approved SB 186.  The bill now goes before the Judiciary Committee.

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