Social Network Privacy Act would bar employers from accessing employee's social network login info

Lawmaker: 'This is all about personal privacy'

DENVER - Cherry Creek School District administrators have placed a high school teacher on routine administrative leave as they investigate her tweets and photos on Twitter.

The first-year math teacher, who 7NEWS is not naming because she has not been accused of a crime or violating school policy, has not been disciplined.

Some of the photos from Twitter show the teacher in skimpy outfits. One photo shows the teacher smoking an unknown substance. Some of her tweets referenced weed.

They were found because her account was public and not privacy-protected.

A bill being discussed at the state Capitol would not have helped the teacher, but deals with social media and workplace discrimination.

State Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, is the sponsor of the Social Network Privacy Act legislation. It would prohibit an employer from asking an applicant or current employee for their personal social network usernames and passwords.

"You are hired based upon your qualifications. You are not hired based upon what you're doing with your family or -- you might be bike riding -- or whatever you're doing within your personal time," said Williams. "That's an invasion of your privacy, so that's why we need to pass this bill."

The legislation would protect applicants and employees from being discriminated against for not sharing their social network logins.

"Your employer should not have a right to ask you your personal information," said Williams.

If the bill became law, those who feel discriminated against could seek civil remedies. The business could also face a fine.

"This is all about personal privacy," said Williams.

The bill has been assigned to a House committee, but does not have a date to be debated because it's being reworked by Williams.

According to Williams, six states have already passed legislation similar to this. She said Colorado is one of 14 states currently considering passing this type of legislation.


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