Law would keep bosses off social media accounts

By: Kayla Bremer

The Nebraska Legislature is back in session and one bill that was introduced is raising some eyebrows.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for employers to get a first look at an applicant.  Privacy settings allow each person to decide what they want to be made public or kept private but some employers are asking for the passwords to see what's kept hidden.

But should that employer be able to force you to hand over passwords for information that's set to private?

“I'd probably do it, you know I don't have anything to hide but I can see how certain people wouldn't like that and you know, it is invading your privacy so I don't think it should be allowed,” University of Nebraska student Jeff Koukol said.

One Nebraska senator agrees.  Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill introduced a bill (LB58) that would make it illegal for an employer to require or request that employees provide their user names or passwords for social media sites.

The bill also says the employee can't be forced to log onto their profiles in the employers presence.  But most importantly, they can't discriminate or retaliate against the applicant if they refuse to provide the information.

“I feel like anyone can find it, even if they don't ask for your password they can probably find a way to look at it anyway,” Kyle Conway said.  “Just make an account and add you as a friend or something.”

They can add you as a friend to access your information…whether you decide to accept them or not is your decision.  However, the bill would make an employer indirectly accessing your account through another person illegal.

“I feel like they have the right to do it,” Conway added.  “It's up in cyberspace.  Anyone can see it so just don't put something up that you don't want on.”

Nebraska is just one of several states looking into these types of laws.