RI House OKs social media privacy bill

Legislation that would stop employers or higher education officials from demanding access to a person's Facebook or Twitter accounts is gaining momentum in Rhode Island.

The proposal could soon be voted on in the state Senate after passing the House of Representatives on Thursday on a unanimous vote.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy. He says he wants to prevent employers or school coaches from requiring access to a person's social media accounts as a condition of their employment or enrollment.

The bill would ban employers and college officials from requiring that an employee or student add them as a social media contact. It would also stop them from demanding a student or employee's login information.

Workers told NBC 10 on Friday they agreed with the legislation.

"They shouldn't be able to get into somebody's Facebook. It's not their business," said Laurie Boyd, of West Warwick.

"I think it's about time somebody did something about the Facebook thing. It's getting a little out of control with employers getting full access and stuff like that. I think it's good they're making a stand and passing a new law," said Tom Scuder, of Providence.

California and five other states already have similar laws.

NBC 10 contributed to this report.