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Employers may no longer be able to ask for your login and password

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LAWTON, Okla._A bill to protect your personal social media accounts from being invaded by your employer has made it halfway through the legislative process in Oklahoma.

The house has approved a measure that would prevent employers from requesting, or requiring, an employee or prospective employee, to give their username and password to their social media accounts.

Currently, in Oklahoma, your employer can ask for your Facebook username and password to see what you've been up to.  Most of the major employers in Lawton don't do it but it has become a big enough problem nation-wide that ten states have already put a ban on it and many others are looking into it.

Danny Hale, Human Resources Director at Southwestern Medical Center, says there is still not a clear picture of what an individual should or should not be posting on their social media sites, "An individual may post something at a time when they are still young and inexperienced and with a few years of maturation might have given them the second thought, that they wish they hadn't posted something."

Hale feels that an employer being able to demand access to your social media is crossing the line of the employees' right to privacy, "With most forms of social media you have the ability to screen or regulate who can see your content and I think for someone who is responsible and prudent, that is the right thing to do."

He says they, Southwestern Medical, only look at employees social media for investigation of accusations, "There are times when certain postings in social media venues might be brought to my attention that we might look into or investigate that could be forms of abuse or violation of one's right to privacy."

Hale says while he knows employers would like to gain access to their employees' accounts, he said it's not a wise idea right now, "There is no clear delineation as to, have you crossed that line to one's right to privacy yet."

Hale says his word of caution is once it's there, it's there.  So, if you don't want the rest of the world to see it, don't post it. If the bill does pass, it will become effective in November of this year.

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