Spin Control

Workers get ‘password protection’

OLYMPIA -- Employers can't ask their current workers or job applicants for access to their social media accounts under a law signed Tuesday.

Sometimes called the "Facebook Bill", Senate Bill 5211 makes it illegal for an employer to request a worker or a job applicant for the login information to a social media account or to make the employee access the account with the employer present. An employee or applicant can't be required to add someone to a contact list or change the settings to give a third party access to the account.

Sen. Steven Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, said Washington is the eighth state to have such a bill. "Privacy shouldn't be a thing of the past that we are forced to sacrifice every time technology moves forward."

After signing the bill, Gov. Jay Inslee said it was a solid step for protecting people's privacy today.

"We do have to realize that technology changes so fast that we may turn around tomorrow and find circumstances where people are not adequately protected by it, from new technologies we haven't even thought of yet," he said.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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