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Social Media Privacy Act Passes Senate

From NM Senate Democrats

SANTA FE, NM – Today the State Senate passed Senate Bill 371 sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria (D, Bernalillo, Dist. 26). The bill would prohibit potential employers from demanding social-media passwords from someone applying for a job. The bill does not impede an employer’s or company’s right to implement internet usage policies for its employees.

It is now illegal to coerce a potential employee or university applicant to reveal their social-media passwords in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey.

Debate on the Senate floor lasted close to an hour, with Senate Republicans arguing that certain employers should be allowed increased scrutiny because of the sensitive nature of work.

“I appreciate the spirited debate. I think that the concerns raised are more of a post-employment question, rather than during the application and interview process, which is what this bill addresses,” Senator Candelaria said. “One issue raised involved the problems with the Albuquerque Police Department creating a policy of what officers could and could not post on social media. This bill would not make that illegal. When it comes to this bill, I think it is important that our privacy laws stay up to date in the 21st century and that they protect everyone that is currently looking for employment.”

The bill passed by a 28 – 9 vote and will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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