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Social media bill enters legislative debate
One Nebraska lawmaker describes it as basic privacy protection.
State Senators began debating a bill today that would protect potential employee's personal social media accounts.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter would be off limits when an employee is being considered for a job.
O'Neil Senator Tyson Larson introduced the bill that would prevent bosses from demanding access to private information within their employees' Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Senator Larson says the bill would make it illegal for employees or potential employees to request the information from a worker or job applicant.
Six other states currently have legislation in place similar to this bill.
Supporters of the measure, like the ACLU of Nebraska, say by accessing personal information online, it's like asking personal questions during an interview.
"If there's a lawsuit, let's say you don't hire that person or demote them, whatever, you've just created by your snoopiness into their background some of the early first steps to prove a case of discrimination," said Alan Peterson, ACLU.
Grand Island Police Chief Steve Lamken testified at the hearing in opposition to the bill.
Lamken, who was representing the Police Chief's Association of Nebraska, says the bill goes too far in restriction on employers.
"We have been entrusted by our communities to ensure both high moral and mental fitness standers for those who serve our agencies," Lamken said.
The bill does not cover any information that is made public. For instance, if your settings aren't private, anyone who logs onto your account can see anything you post.
Senator Larson says the bill is evolving with the ever changing world of technology.
The bill will remain in committee until action is taken.
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