Texas law aims to protect personal privacy of social media passwords
Tue, 22 Jan 2013 04:55:39 GMT —
Jesus Medrano is looking for a job.
He doesn't think any future employer should screen his personal social media accounts as part of the hiring process.
"Freedom of speech is what we have and that's part of the First Amendment," he said. "That's protected. We shouldn't be monitored."
But what people choose to post online may not be so private.
More and more employers are combing through personal web profiles by asking for passwords to check on workers and screen potential applicants.
Texas State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa wants to make that illegal.
In a statement released online, he says in part: "It is important to protect personal privacy. Although it may seem reasonable for employers to want to see what kind of people they are hiring or employing... This does not mean they have the right to gain unrestricted access to personal social media accounts."
Another proposed law would apply to academic institutions as well by preventing schools from gaining access to student passwords for online social media sites.
It would protect students from retaliation from the institution if access to their social networking accounts isn't granted.
Information set to "public" would not be protected.
Martin Martinez is a student at TSTC in Harlingen.
"It's not right for them to go into our stuff," he said about schools in general. "Our Facebook and our YouTube is what we put up. It's what we want to say. It's not what we should be saying."
A TSTC spokesperson says the college does not ask students for their passwords.
Jesus isn't worried about what he says online, even if everything is considered public and perhaps even--forever.
"So the posts that you do, they are things you would say to your own mother?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.
"Yes," he answered. "Honestly."
Four states already have laws in place that limit employers and schools seeking social media account access.
Texas joins two other states this year seeking similar measures.