In the continuing trend of Washington being an all around wonderful state to live in – what with all the pot and gay marriages – we’ve now become the fifth state this year to create a law that protects social media passwords from employers.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5211 into law Tuesday, making it illegal for an employer to “request, require, or otherwise coerce and employee or applicant to disclose login information” or “access [social media sites] in a way that enables the employer to observe the contents of the account.”
Of course, employers are still permitted to request employees’ social media content if during an internal investigation they receive word that the employee is sharing confidential information, so don’t go blathering your trade secrets in a status update just yet. Employers still can’t ask for a log-in, but they can request that an employee share content if it pertains to an investigation.
According to the AP, the new law comes after a “session of negotiations between privacy advocates and business lobbyists.” The AP quotes Gov. Inslee as stating:
“We’re trying to assure people’s privacy in this space, that we (have) vigilance and the ability to move on a moment’s notice when people’s privacy has been violated. I think it is a solid step to give people privacy, but I would not be shocked if there’s some new app or application or a laser beam hologram technology we haven’t dreamed of yet that makes further work necessary.”
So congratulations, Washington residents! We’ve become the eighth state in all the land to protect what little “privacy” there is on the internet anymore. And, not to go unrecognized, we’re the first with a governor looking out for our best laser beam hologram interests.