Manweller helps shepherd bill through committee to protect social media passwords from businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2013

CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7794
Rep. Matt Manweller – (360) 786-7808

Manweller helps shepherd bill through committee to protect social media passwords from businesses

On Wednesday, the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee considered an amendment to a bill that would have allowed employers to ask for an employee’s social media passwords, such as Facebook, during company investigations.   Rep. Matt Manweller, the ranking Republican on the committee, felt the amendment violated employee privacy and discussed his concerns with the chair of the committee.   “There were a handful of industries that wanted to amend the bill so that employers could get access to employee passwords and the chair of the committee agreed to sponsor that amendment. But I had a chance to express my concerns with him. The next day, he agreed and pulled his own amendment,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg.   Senate Bill 5211 would prohibit employers from demanding access to an employee’s or prospective employee’s personal account or profile on a social networking Web site.   “There are some things that are just none of your employer’s business and your Facebook password is one of them. I am proud that Washington state is going to be one of the first states to prohibit employers from asking for your social network passwords,” said Manweller. “This is a privacy issue for me. Sometimes I have to stand up to government to protect privacy, and sometimes I have to stand up to big business to protect your privacy. Either way, citizen privacy should always come first.”   The bill was voted out of the Senate unanimously earlier this session and was voted out of the House committee by a vote of 8-1. It is now headed to the House floor for consideration.   For more information, visit our Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov