Social Media Bill Introduced by Maui’s Ing Advances

March 6, 2013, 10:03 AM HST · Updated March 6, 12:05 PM
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District 11 State House member elect, Kaniela Ing. Photo by Wendy Osher.

District 11 State House Rep., Kaniela Ing. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The state House passed a bill on Tuesday that would prohibit employers from requiring disclosure of passwords and user names for social media accounts of applicants and employees.

House Bill 713 HD2 is aimed at protecting privacy, and updating current employment laws to keep pace with technological trends.

Rep. Kaniela Ing, the South Maui lawmaker who introduced the bill said, “It is important for our state to establish a definite policy to maintain the privacy of personal accounts when dealing with employment.”

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“We have reached a point where technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that our current laws are becoming outdated or remain unclear on issues such as social media,” said Rep. Ing.

In addition to prohibiting disclosure, the bill would also protect an employee or job applicant from having to access such an account with the employer present, or divulging that such an account exists.

The measure, however, would still maintain an employer’s existing rights to require an employee to divulge a personal account reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of employee misconduct or violations of applicable law.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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