Should your boss have the right to demand your personal user name and password information for private accounts?  The Texas House voted “no.”

A bill authored by Representative Helen Giddings passed by a 79 to 61 vote last week, closer than you might expect.

Giddings told KTRH she had three people in her district come to her on separate occasions saying that during the employment process they had been asked to provide passwords to their private accounts.

“There are a lot of employers now that are forcing young people getting out of college that want to get a job there to give them their Facebook password,” KTRH legal analyst Chris Tritico says.  “Professional email through your company server is not private.  The company owns the server, the company owns the email and you don’t have a privacy interest.  What the Texas legislature is saying is that potential employers and employers are not allowed to delve into your private email.”

Rep. Giddings says exceptions were made in the bill for law enforcement and financial institutions that deal with securities issues. She says from here the bill goes to the Senate, and she’s very optimistic about passage there.

“This bill for me is about one thing,” she told KTRH. “It’s about freedom of speech.  It’s about the right for privacy each of us ought to have in our lives.”