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City Council to hold hearings on new social media privacy bill

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) The bill would prohibit employers from Facebook friending job seekers before they are hired. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The New York City Council plans to start hearings on Wednesday on a bill that would ban employers from demanding access to the social media accounts of job seekers and employees.

The bill, introduced by City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, would prohibit employers from demanding the username and password of employees' accounts. It could also ban employers from "friending" job seekers before they are hired.

Employers can still look at public information, but they can not require job seekers and employees to share what is on their private profiles.

The New York Daily News spoke with one woman who plans to testify on Wednesday.

"Why should an employer have access to all this information?" said Sarah DeStefano, 26.

Stefano was denied a job at an upstate district attorney's office because she refused to "friend" her potential boss on Facebook as part of a background check.

"There’s a line that employers shouldn’t be able to cross," she told the News.

 
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