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State Of Minnesota Considering Legislation Prohibiting Employers From Asking For Access To Private Social Media Accounts

Paul DeBettignies KARE 11 Interview

This month (March of 2019) legislation (H. F. No. 1196 & S.F. No. 1432) was introduced at the Minnesota Legislature making it illegal for employers to require access to their employees’ private accounts, to demand they be opened in front of the employer, force an employee to “friend” a superior or change privacy settings so the account can be viewed publicly.

Whew… that’s a lot. I think I have it all straight.

Essentially your employer or possible employer cannot make you show them your private accounts.

There are likely going to be a few exceptions. One may be for those applying for security clearances.

I’ve been asked a number of times including in the interview below with KARE 11 if I am aware of local employers doing this. I am not. I have not heard of one case. And no one replied to KARE 11 with one. And I am certain that any employer silly enough to do this would have a major PR issue on their hands.

Is it needed? I guess the answer is yes if we want to be proactive and protect people.

As I mention in the interview it may be good to have this in place before a next recession so that when needing a job whether they receive an offer or not is not in part based upon their private social media footprint.

I’ve also been asked if “superiors” should be friends with their “subordinates” online. My answer to that is I think each of us should have our own “social media policy”. I know some people who draw a hard line, no way. And others (it seems more do than not) who do connect.

Mentioned at the end of the interview… log out of all your accounts and then find you, see what might be found. Google yourself and then us https://pipl.com/ too.

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