House passes bill to block bosses from accessing private emails

Texas House members clicked the “Like” button on protecting personal email and social networking accounts from inquisitive employers.  Encouraged by worries from constituents, state Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, authored House Bill 318 which would prevent employers — or potential bosses — from asking for passwords or user names for personal email accounts and social networking pages.  “This is important because, for me, it’s about freedom of speech and a right to privacy,” Giddings said. “An employer wanting to know something doesn’t trump the guarantee of freedom of speech and privacy.”  The bill, which received preliminary House approval Thursday on a 79-61 vote, reflected concerns that requiring private information could lead to employment discrimination based on age, disability, national origin or religion.

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