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.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>