Mary Franson renews push to block employers from accessing employees' social media accounts

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Franson thinks what happens on your private Facebook account should stay private, and more than 90 percent of Minnesotans agree.
Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, knows a thing or two about getting in trouble on social media. But for the second year in a row, she's introduced a bill in hopes she can spare you some trouble if your employer gets nosy about your Facebook or Twitter presence.

SEE ALSO: Franson thinks yours truly should blame his rent increase on Gov. Dayton

Franson plans to reintroduce a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring employees and prospective employees to turn over their social media passwords.

The bill had bipartisan support and a Senate companion last legislative session, but stalled in committee. It's also supported by the vast majority of Minnesotans, as indicated by a poll conducted during last year's state fair:

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House Public Information Services

In a recent interview with the House Public Information Services, Franson said: "We have youth that... do not seem to think that what they put out on Twitter and they put out on Facebook or another social media outlet, that it's not going affect their job search down the road. Children, high school, even college kids, they are not looking at their future job employers."

But she acknowledges her bill won't totally prevent employers from being social media snoops.

"I have heard stories -- sometimes, it won't even be 'give me your password,' it will be, 'sit down in front of your computer and type in your password and let's look at your page,' which this bill doesn't address," she said.

Fundamentally, Franson said she doesn't believe "your social media presence is indicative of the person you are." We think that's arguable, though we do admire the spirit of her effort.

To read the actual text of Franson's bill, click to page two.

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