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Editorial: Bill on password sharing is needed

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opinion Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Conservatives and liberals in the Minnesota Legislature are co-sponsoring a bill to address the growing concern of the employer practice of requiring social media account passwords from potential employees.

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This is an important issue of privacy among potential employees, who are also private citizens.

A recent trend of public and private employers has been to require potential employees to share their social media passwords, so the employer can review the account and use any information as a factor in making hiring decisions.

There is more than just privacy at stake in this situation.

If an employer has access to a social media account, they can have access to private information -- such as marital status, children and/or medical issues -- which is illegal for an employer to utilize in making any hiring decision.

In addition, a young person may post something on a social media site -- like Facebook -- but have the account's viewing restricted to just family and friends. An unflattering college scene photo can play a role in some employer's hiring decisions.

While this checking social media trend may not be common in west central Minnesota now, the issue will become critical if more employees start utilizing the practice.

This is an issue the Legislature should handle sooner than later.

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