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A New Workplace Social-Networking Privacy Bill Surfaces In Philly

This proposed amendment to Title 9 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions,” would, in City Council’s words, “add a new Chapter, protecting social networking privacy, by prohibiting an employer from requesting or requiring access, in any manner, to an employee’s or prospective employee’s account or profile on a social networking site and providing for enforcement and penalties, all under certain terms and conditions.”

Indeed, this new bill is so broad that it could preclude HR from conducting an effective investigating claims of harassment in the workplace. The bill prohibits employers from requesting access to an employee’s Facebook account through a co-worker who is a Facebook friend.

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