Proposed ordinance pushes for online privacy

MISSOULA COUNTY

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
POSTED: 4:26 PM Jun 27 2013   UPDATED: 4:27 PM Jun 27 2013
ONLINE PRIVACY
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A proposed ordinance in Missoula would protect online privacy, prohibiting businesses from asking for employees’ usernames and passwords to websites.

The login information for sites we use daily like email accounts and facebook is something most of us know by heart.

But what if your employer asked for the usernames and passwords to all your accounts?

“I think it's pretty ridiculous, that's private information,” said one Missoulian.

“It's kind of the same thing as asking to go through my mail, and I would say no,” said another resident.

An ordinance proposed by a Missoula City Councilman Jason Weiner would make sure that can't happen.

Here’s how the ordinance breaks down:

A business, a business’s agent, or a business’s representative may not require an employee or applicant to: disclose the user name, password, or any other means of access to a personal account. In

In addition, the proposal says an employer can't ask you to change your privacy settings, ask for list of contacts or to give any information that's password protected.

Online privacy is a continuing conversation in the state. In 2009 top Bozeman city officials apologized after catching flack over demanding log in information for social networking sites from every job applicant.

The city dropped the policy after public outcry.

And in March a state legislative committee tabled a similar bill.

So for now it's up to the Missoula City Council.

A public hearing for the ordinance is set for July 22.

For more information or to read the draft click here.