Madison, Wisconsin – Lawmakers in Wisconsin are striving to pass a comprehensive legislation to protect the privacy of job seekers. Lately, increasingly many employers have begun to ask candidates to provide their log-in credentials for their social media accounts.
This proposal — drafted to protect the online privacy of new job seekers — is being spearheaded by Rep. Melissa Sergeant, D-Madison. The proposal has also grabbed the attention of republicans who are now supporting this legislation. Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, co -sponsor of the bill says, people have the right to online privacy, and people shouldn’t expect to casually hand out their social media log-in credentials to anyone who asks for it. The proposal, if passed into law, would ban employers, landlords, and school officials from asking the concerned person for his or her social media account access.
However, the law doesn’t cover employers monitoring employee online activities at the workplace. Thus, employers could still track the online activities of their employees and monitor internet access on their personal devices such as Smartphones.
Already, 35 other states are working on a similar proposal aimed at protecting people’s social media privacy. Although, not all employers are asked to access the accounts of potential candidates – some are.
According to Ian Murphy, a senior data security analyst for New Softwares.net, an information security organization specializing in data encryption software; Accessing social media websites in the workplace can sometimes backfire. Your status messages, tweets, and updates can easily be monitored by your employer. Expressing your thoughts and feeling on the internet at the workplace often triggers a negative response from the employer and quite often, you can end up losing your job.
Additionally, employees should refrain from storing personal data on work computers and laptops, if for some reason, an employee needs to store such data at work, and they should lock folders containing such data with the data security software.
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