LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan legislation aimed at prohibiting employers from asking job applicants and employees for online passwords and other account information could become law.

Republican state Rep. Aric Nesbitt of Lawton, sponsor of House Bill 5523 that was approved last week, said the aim is to help protect access to personal Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts.

“While our technological advances are beneficial, we must ensure that our laws protecting an individual’s private information on the Internet advance as well,” he said in a statement. “People have the right to a certain level of privacy when it comes to what sensitive information they wish to share or not to share with the public.”

Nesbitt said the legislation would also would prohibit educational institutions from asking for private account information and would penalize them for dismissing or failing to accept students who don’t provide such details.

“This bill helps find a respectable balance between the privacy of individuals and free market principles that allow employers and educational institutions to create security and stability within their institutions,” said Nesbitt.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature. A message was sent Wednesday morning seeking comment from Snyder’s office.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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