10/30/2014

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The Password Protection Act of 2012 does not get amended by lawmakers

The Password Protection Act of 2012 does not get amended by lawmakers
OLYMPIA, WA - A Washington bill that would allow bosses to seek Facebook passwords from their employees dies in the house committee as quickly as it began.

This bill as we pass it, is a good bill that protects your privacy.

A bill amendment proposal was able to gain the support from Chairman of The House Labor Committee, Mike Sells. Which would have allowed Washington employers to ask for a worker's Facebook or other social-media passwords.

"Allowing employers the ability to access personal accounts I think is bad policy," said Republican Susan Fagan.

However, the next morning Chairman Sells retracted his support for the provision.

"The business community does have some legitimate concerns, but they were not enough for us to amend the bill in the way they wanted us to," said Republican Matt Manweller.

The bill Republican Representative Matt Manweller is referring to is Bill number 5211, the Password Protection Act of 2012, which was unanimously passed in the senate without any provisions and has finally passed the house labor committee.

"All of that language about businesses having probable cause is all gone," said Manweller.

The Password Protection Act clearly states that employers cannot ask for your passwords as an employee or as a condition for employment.

Legal ramifications are included in the bill. So lets say an employer decides to ask for your password…under this bill you would then have the right to file a lawsuit.

"Civil action against businesses for damages of $500 and reasonable attorney fees if they even try," said Manweller.

"I think that belongs to the individual and should not be shared with the employer," said Fagan.

The Password Protection Act, without the amendment, is headed to
the house floor. If it passes, it will then need to be signed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee before it becomes a law.
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