Sen. Lesser Votes With Senate to Pass Social Media Privacy Bill

Sen. Eric P. Lesser voted in favor of a successfully passed Senate bill that prohibits educational institutions and employers from requiring students or employees to turn over their social media account information as a requirement for admission or hiring. The bill applies to all social media applications, including protecting personal Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“Our personal social media activity deserves the same degree of privacy protection as the personal diaries, mail and photo albums we keep at home,” said Sen. Lesser, who is a co-sponsor of the original bill.

“The end goal is to ensure that students and job applicants are not pressured to provide password information or accept connection requests in order to be accepted to an activity or land a job,” Sen. Lesser added.

More than twenty states have passed similar social media privacy laws, including Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

The bill, sponsored by the Senate Assistant Majority Leader Cynthia Creem and co-sponsored by Sen. Lesser, includes exemptions allowing schools and employers to examine incidents or conduct investigations tied to social network accounts when there is reason to do so.

“If your social media account information is behind a password, intended for your friend and family members only, it’s appropriate and un-American to require it to be disclosed without good reason.”

The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House for further consideration.

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