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Facebook bill to be debated at Statehouse

January 30, 2014

Amanda Maycock, 25, of Woonsocket, lost her job about a week ago and was placing online applications at the netWORKri Career Center on Pond St. in the city Wednesday. ‘This place helps,’ she said, as she searched for work in the retail industry. (Photo by Ernest A. Brown)

PROVIDENCE – If you are applying for a job, should your prospective employer be able to demand the password to your Facebook or other social media account? Should schools and colleges be able to require students or applicants to allow access to restricted portions of their social media profiles?

With sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Meetup gaining popularity, and new sites finding their way onto the Internet with increasing frequency, two state legislators say employees and students should not be forced to share their online lives with people at work or school.

“As a country, we are starting to get away from the private aspects of individuals’ lives,” Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, sponsor of a bill that would prohibit employers and educational institutions from demanding that such information be turned over, said Wednesday. “I just think it is an issue of personal privacy.”

Ruggerio, who represents parts of North Providence and Providence in the Senate, said the ACLU requested that he and Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, sponsor of the House version, submit the bill again this year.

For full story, see Thursday's print edition of The Times.

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