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Missoula to Consider an Online Privacy Protection Ordinance

online privacy
Photo courtesy of topgold/Flickr

The Missoula City Council is considering a new ordinance that may significantly limit the ability of Missoula businesses to gain access to their employee’s online information. City councilman Jason Weiner proposed the ordinance during the Wednesday June 25, city council committee.

“It’s called the online privacy protection ordinance and basically the thing that it does is make it unlawful for a business to ask an employee or an applicant to disclose usernames and passwords for accounts,” said Weiner. “It also stops employers from requiring them to log on in front of someone so there private messages can be viewed.”

During the council meeting some local employees testified about various types of information they had been required to give to their employers.

“You know the protections that are offered are really based on somebody not using their position as somebody’s employer to require them to disclose personal information,” said Weiner. “So many social networks are used for people who are doing job seeking, so if you are at home using linkedin in order to contact other potential jobs then there is no reason your employer should keep tabs on that.”

The Missoula city council committee voted unanimously to set a public meeting for the ordinance. That public meeting is currently scheduled for July 22nd.

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