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NH bills: Bosses can't seek social media passwords

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 10:32 am •  Published: February 11, 2013

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is considering joining a handful of states that bar employers from asking job applicants and employees for their social media user names and passwords.

The House's labor committee is holding a hearing on two similar bills Tuesday that would prohibit an employer from requiring the disclosure. Maryland, California, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois have similar laws barring employers, academic institutions or both and two dozen besides New Hampshire are considering legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In their effort to vet job applicants, some companies and government agencies have started asking for passwords to log into a prospective employee's accounts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Critics call it an invasion of privacy akin to handing over the keys to the person's house.

State Sen. Donna Soucy, a co-sponsor on both New Hampshire bills, said Monday that employers can gain access to information about an employee or job applicant through social media accounts like Facebook that they otherwise could not legally obtain. She said people post personal information about themselves on Facebook or others post on the person's page that should be protected.

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