La. online privacy bill dies

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A proposal to ban employers and schools from demanding access to personal online accounts has been scrapped.

The House had approved the measure. But Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, ran into concerns in the Senate that he said Wednesday can’t be worked out before the session ends June 6. The bill, which passed the House 87-0, was voluntarily deferred without a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.

James’ bill would prohibit employers and public schools, including colleges and universities, from requesting information such as usernames, passwords or other authentication information that allows them to access personal online accounts. Private schools were amended out of the bill.

The bill was designed to protect the personal access information of employees and students, but would not have prohibited employers or schools from requesting access information to company-owned devices that are issued to employees.

There was some concern about how the law would affect or regulate employer- or school-owned equipment that was used by students, such as school-issued email addresses, James said.

“I just want to take a look at some things and come back next year with a better instrument,” he said.

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