KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports - - Bill aims to crackdown on employers seeking passwords

Bill would prohibit employers from getting your Facebook password

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State employers could soon be banned from asking you for your Facebook password.

A bill introduced on Thursday at the Legislature aims to prevent workplaces from seeing private info on social media profiles of current or prospective employees. Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge introduced the legislation in an effort to keep people's social media passwords out of the hands of an employer.

"It's akin to asking someone to read their personal U.S. mail as a condition of employment," Nienow said.

If this bill passes, employers would no longer be able to ask you for your Facebook password. But some employers such as the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office say this legislation would not hinder the way they screen candidates.

"Is it going to affect our ability to background individuals, I would say no," said Chief Deputy Mike Maurer of the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office.

Maurer says when it comes to hiring employees, there are many avenues to audit candidates.

"As far as I know, we have never asked anyone for their private, social media password," Maurer said. "Again we have so many outlets we look at, it's just never really been a focus of ours at this time."

However, when law enforcement are hired for Blue Earth County, Maurer says those in charge of hiring for the sheriff's office may look to see what information is public on a person's profile.

Nienow says employers should not be able to request a person's password regardless of the employment position.

"If an employers were to demand access to that, that just would be intrusive and wrong, and we're just trying to make it clear that cannot be made a condition of employment," Nienow said.

The bill is currently is the Senate's 'Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.'