Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and his Assembly colleagues voted Monday to protect New Yorkers' personal information from overzealous employers. Assembly Bill 9654 passed with overwhelming support to ensure that personal information on electronic devices stays personal.
"Today, almost everyone uses some form of personal electronic media such as email, Facebook or Twitter," Ceretto said. "These applications are great ways to make our lives easier and keep us connected with those close to us. Since these are intended for our personal use, there is absolutely no reason why any employer should be able to access them."
Due to the wide array of services now offered online, from social media to banking, many employers have begun to require employees to provide access information as a means to keep track of staff and determine promotion or disciplinary action. The same practice is also being used for applicants in determining whether or not to hire someone. Many employees and lawmakers are concerned that accessing personal information may lead to discriminatory hiring and firing practices.
"Employers having access to employees' personal information will not only lead to discriminatory practices, but is a major breach of privacy as well," Ceretto said. "Personal privacy is one of the primary tenets that our society was founded on, and just because something is recorded electronically doesn't mean the right to privacy should be lost."
"Our economy is still in rough shape, the last thing people should be worried about is losing their job because their boss didn't approve of a private email," Ceretto said.