Thursday, Vermont Senators voted to block employers from demanding access to a job applicant's personal computer, email account, or telephone. The move comes one day after the body decided to study rather than pursue similar social media protections.
"Nobody should extrapolate from that that anyone on the committee believes it's the right thing for any employer to do, because we don't, but we want to make sure that as we do it, we do it right," said Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland County. "The privacy of Vermonters, the privacy of all of us, is important and this is a small step forward."
The initial legislation proposed by Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington County, would have extended additional privacy protections for sites like Facebook. But several senators voiced concern with opening up the state to potential lawsuits.
"I think we ought to be a little concerned about-- if I may use the phrase-- being more Catholic than the pope," said Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham County.
Galbraith argued that the state leaves applicants open to probing beyond the depths required for top secret government clearance. Six states have moved to block employers from digitally spying on potential and current employees.
Vermont's senior U.S. senator, Patrick Leahy, is urging his colleagues in Washington, D.C., to act as well.
"I think we're going to see more and more bills having to do with personal privacy and the protection of that privacy," Sears said.
Sears says rapidly developing technology and some that have already arrived will keep privacy protection issues permanently on the Legislature's horizon.
The bill is expected to land in the House by the end of the week.
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Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings. Last April Peter Campbell-Copp pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonyMore >>
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:56 AM EST2013-12-06 10:56:32 GMT
There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. The FBI now confirms that the mother of 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has had contact with her daughter since she vanished twoMore >>
There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 6:59 PM EST2013-12-05 23:59:01 GMT
Hundreds of Vermonters could lose unemployment benefits early if Congress doesn't act. Congress expanded packages after the 2008 economic crash but the offer is set to expire. Regular unemployment benefits,More >>
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Thursday, December 5 2013 7:03 PM EST2013-12-06 00:03:28 GMT
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Thursday, December 5 2013 7:08 PM EST2013-12-06 00:08:48 GMT
It looks like something you'd find on your grandmother's sofa, but thanks to the magic of Burton, it's cool again. It's what the U.S. Snowboarding team will wear when they compete in Sochi, Russia, forMore >>
The Winter Olympics are just around the corner and the U.S. Snowboarding team will be showing off some Vermont style. Burton designed the official uniforms. But some fans have questions about where they were made.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 7:10 PM EST2013-12-06 00:10:53 GMT
The Grinch has struck in New Haven. Vermont State police say sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone stole about a dozen Christmas trees from the Green Haven Nursery. Police areMore >>
Vermont State police say someone stole a dozen Christmas trees from a nursery in New Haven.More >>