Texas lawmaker wants more privacy on social media - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Texas lawmaker wants more privacy on social media

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Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, Whatever kind of social media you use, some institutions want access to some pretty private information.

"Privacy takes on a whole new meaning when you start to move into this internet world, the internet highway. We drive at different speed limits in this arena," said local state representative, Dawnna Dukes.

She wants to pump the brakes on employer social media accessibility.

Dukes said, "I read a lot over the past year of some measures on the federal level that attempted to require an employee to provide their employer with their password to their accounts...across the internet there was a huge outrage and I agreed."

That's why she filed House Bill 451.

"If it's personal and private and it's not a part of the job or the institution, there is no reason why your personal information should be required," Dukes said.

Ahmed Zaidi , an Austin resident, said, "It's not a good representation of who they are as a person or as a candidate for a job...so I think people should lay off the social media."

UT Freshman, Melinda Garcia, said, "That's going into your own personal messages and...What happens if it's something personal within family relations? That's pretty sad."

"That does not prevent an employer...that if an individual breaks company policy...from taking some type of action," Dukes added. "It just still prevents them from compelling and requiring your private information and your private posts."

The bill would also ban universities from gaining access to current and future student athlete's social media accounts.

Dukes explained, "They can still do their monitoring of your public posts, but they couldn't make you "friend" them so they could see your private post."

Both UT and Texas Tech have contracts to monitor student athletes on social media.

Dukes said, "It would not allow for them to require you to put on a third party program that allows them inside information on who you're communicating with, what types of conversations you are having."

"Those student athletes are just kids at the end of the day. They're just kids...they're just growing up too. They're just students, they want to have fun here," Zaidi added.

Monica Vela, a UT Freshman, said, "For the school, they have interviews for what type of person you are, and sometimes people can hide it, but Facebook can't' really hide it."

"If they catch you doing something, it's pretty much your fault," Garcia added.

"The policy should be the same. Everybody should be treated the same," Dukes said.

She says it's called personal information for a reason.

This is a response from UT representative, Gary Susswein, Director of Media Relations;

"The university does not monitor our employees online. We currently have a contract that we believe helps us ensure the well-being of some of our student athletes in the social media sphere....UT Austin will review the legislation that has been filed in Texas and work with the bill's author. We will respect the wishes of the legislature on this important issue."

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