Social Media Bills Would Defend Online Privacy

With the emergence of new technology, legislators have filed a bevy of bills that could change the way some Texans use social media. The measures largely stem from lawmakers’ concerns about privacy and safety for Texans who spend an increasingly large portion of their lives online.

Helen Giddings (D-Dallas) proposal, House Bill 318, would “prohibit employers from requiring or requesting access to personal accounts of employees or job applicants through electronic communication devices.” Her proposal would include personal cellphones, computers and social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter. Her bill would protect personal accounts of employees, but it would not apply to devices owned by a company that the employee uses to conduct business. Lawmakers in Missouri and Vermont, along with Texas, have filed social media measures this year.

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