Texas considers banning employers from Facebook snooping

Anti-DNC group plans citizen's arrest of Hillary Clinton during convention speech
The Philadelphia-based coalition of Bernie Sanders supporters and other groups is protesting this year's Democratic National Convention.

See all Editor's Picks

imgur: the simple image sharer
Texas could be the latest state to protect your right to hide your social media profiles from your boss.

The great state of Texas is the latest to try to protect its residents' Internet privacy from grabby employers.

House Bill 318, Rep. Helen Giddings's (D-Dallas) so-called Social Media Bill, passed the Texas House Friday. It states that, barring a few specific exceptions, your email and social media passwords are off limits:

[A]n employer may not require or request that an employee or applicant for employment disclose a user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account of the employee or applicant, including a personal e-mail account or a social networking website account or profile, through an electronic communication device.

Starting in the spring of 2012, some states, encouraged by civil liberties groups like the ACLU, began drafting such bills to protect citizens' online private lives from their bosses. Such bills grew more and more popular in light of horror stories like Kimberly Hester’s. Hester, a teacher's aide, was fired after her superintendent heard she made an uncouth joke on Facebook—she took a picture of her pants around her ankles, tagging a friend and writing "thinking of you"—and wouldn't let the principal check it out himself.

At least eight other states—Arkansas, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, have attempted to pass similar laws.

If it passes, the Social Media Bill would become just the latest in a string of recent Internet-savvy Texas laws. One currently-pending bill would allow citizens to be served legal documents over social media. Another would require the government to get a warrant to track your movement through your digital devices.

“This is about protecting the privacy and freedom of speech of an individual," Giddings said of her bill.

Photo via Helen Giddings

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Layer 8
A female Lebanese news anchor was told to shut up—here's what she did instead
Rima Karaki is a Lebanese TV host who isn't afraid of a fight. Things got heated Monday when Karaki was interviewing Hani Al-Seba'i about the phenomenon of Christians joining Islamic groups like ISIS. Al-Seba’i is a Sunni scholar who fled to London after he was sentenced in an Egyptian court to 15 years in prison for being a part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The United Nations considers the group to be an affiliate of al Qaeda.
Layer 8
Washington bill would let employers demand Facebook passwords
A bill introduced in the state of Washington that aimed to protect the social media privacy of its residents could end up having the opposite effect instead.
The Latest From Daily Dot Video

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!