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Social Media Privacy Unanimously Endorsed In Mass. Senate

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Employers and education institutions would be prohibited from forcing workers or applicants to share their social media passwords or access to their accounts under a bill that cleared the Senate on Wednesday.

Sen. Cynthia Creem said her bill (S 2034) would address an increasingly common invasion of privacy. The Newton Democrat said she has even heard about coaches requiring students athletes to become "friends" on social media as a condition of participation in sports.

"This really brings us into the 21st century," Creem said.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate on the final day of formal sessions, but the House has not yet taken it up.

Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, of Arlington, successfully amended the bill to close what he called a "loophole" by making sure employers also can't request that applicants turnover printed hard copies of the social media pages.

Sen. Eric Lesser said it would be "frankly un-American" to force job and college or high school applicants to share with interviewers or employers social media content that they had pro-actively taken steps to share only with friends and family.

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