The state Assembly has approved a bill aimed at protecting social media and email privacy.

The legislation bars employers, landlords, and schools from forcing those under their control to hand over the passwords for private email and social media accounts. State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) says it will protect the privacy rights of job seekers, students, and others, while also balancing the need for businesses and schools to protect their own interests. The Madison Democrat says that clarity will also help them to develop better social media policies.

Sargent adds that the bill does not stop employers or others from going online to see what you post publicly on those accounts. She says people must take responsibility for their own actions, and understand that there’s a good chance anyone can find something negative if they make it available online.

AUDIO: Rep. Melissa Sargent (:16)

The bill passed the Assembly Tuesday on a voice vote. It now heads back to the state Senate, which will have to sign off on changes made to the legislation.

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