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  (Source: rudebaguette.com)
Laws protect workers and students

California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. recently signed a new law into effect designed to protect the privacy of social media users. Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1844 and Senate Bill 1349. These new laws will prevent universities and employers from requiring that applicants give up e-mail or social media account passwords. 
 
Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in the number of job applicants and college students being forced to surrender passwords to social network sites such as Facebook and others to be considered for acceptance to the college or to be offered a job. Privacy advocates argue that this is a clear violation of privacy.
 
Governor Brown said, "The Golden State is pioneering the social media revolution, and these laws will protect all Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts."
 
Assembly Bill 1844 prohibits employers from demanding usernames, passwords, or any other information related to social media accounts from employees and any other job applicants. The bill also bans employers from firing or disciplining employees who refused to divulge this information. The law does not provide protections for passwords or other information used to access employer-issued electronic devices.
 
Senate Bill 1349 adds a similar privacy policy for post-secondary education students for social media. The bill stipulates the public and private institutions can't require students, prospective students, and student groups to disclose usernames, passwords, or other private information for social media. Senate Bill 1349 passed without opposition in the legislature.
 
Supporters of Assembly Bill 1844 said that it is a common sense measure needed to clarify questionable business practices.

Source: Gov.ca.gov



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By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/1/2012 10:04:11 AM , Rating: 5
Yup. It's pretty ridiculous that this is even needed. But it happens.

My BiL works for the State Bureau of Investigation. He says that they require all applicants to hand over Facebook credentials so that their investigators can scour pages for dirty deeds.

My thought is, if you're going to be applying for a government job like that, you'd probably wipe that isht clean anyway.


By hankw on 10/1/2012 10:43:57 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand that logic. Did they need your personal diaries and journals in the past?


By Solandri on 10/1/2012 5:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think the reasoning is that if they could have they would have read your personal diaries and journals. But it was easy to deny you kept those things, with no way to confirm it. Now that FB has basically created standardized diaries and journals, they can make a standardized policy about it.

I'd be more interested in a list of which companies required you to hand over your login credentials. I've been reading a lot about companies requiring it, but the jobs I've seen were government or defense (security clearance required) positions, with the occasional busybody manager at some small business thrown in.


By Rukkian on 10/1/2012 11:46:20 AM , Rating: 3
I agree, and would never give away my passwords. I know from an IT perspective, I never want passwords for other users cause of liablity issues.

The problem comes from limited choices (poor job market, competition for certain schools) and some are more willing to hand it over. There is no way people should be handing over that kind of information, but if you absolutly need a job and they are requiring it, the choice between feeding the family and giving up your pw is not a real tough choice.


By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 10/1/2012 12:59:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The first would be that during each interview, the applicant would need to login to their account for the committee to quickly confirm that this person would not reflect poorly on the company if hired.

Nope. Absolutely not. The only thing that the company should be able to go on is the information publicly available about a person. My Facebook page is not something that's open to the general public.
quote:
The second and most important would be a contract that each new employee must sign, that says they will not discuss work related subjects on their personal sites and that they understand they are a representative of the company when at work and in their daily lives.

This I have no problem with. Thankfully, my current employer had no interest in things like my Facebook account (though I did have to pee in a cup), but even though this has never come up in any discussion, I never post anything on my Facebook page about my job, I don't identify the company as my employer, and I don't use my work computer to post on Facebook.

In my case, I'm simply using (un)common sense, but I would not be opposed to signing a piece of paper codifying the decisions I already make. Hell, I had to sign a non-disclosure/non-compete; this Facebook nonsense is nothing compared to that...


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 1:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
*by your

(No edit!)


By mcnabney on 10/1/2012 1:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well, one uncovers prior criminal activity (I don't believe it should be criminal, but the law is the law) and the other is essentially providing the employer with the equivalent of a wire tap or mail interception.

In addition, an employer can discover a number of things in your online profile which it is ILLEGAL for them to ask. Stuff like:
your age
your religion
your political affiliation

It also gives them access to content from your 'friends' which your friend has not given them permission to view.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 2:10:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well, one ... and the other ...
But both require your voluntary agreement to move forward with employment (assuming your employer wants your credentials). And I'm intrigued that he's willing to give his urine/DNA, but not his online profile. Moreover, that he supports legislation to bar employers from collecting one but not the other.

Interesting points in the later half. I suppose one could've argued that it was already illegal based on the information they would find. In essence, that the employer was asking for your age, religion, political affiliation, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if someone were able to win on those grounds.

But all that would do is prove that this new law is superflous.


By SlyNine on 10/1/2012 4:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
Because one is just DNA. The other is who you are as a person, whether your gay, atheist, hate president Obama. None of that stuff has anything to do with your ability to perform a job. Its stuff you might post on your facebook and it is none of their business.

Since they fail to see this, we have a new law.


By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 10/1/2012 2:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm. I mean, you're actually raising a decent point here (no offense, but you're not managing to do that with all your posts), so let me actually give you a reasoned answer here.

First of all, I don't believe that employers should be able to require urine tests, but they are legally allowed to. It's not a law I agree with, but it's a law. I also don't believe that recreational drugs should be illegal (certainly not ones you can grow, like pot or shrooms). That being said, I don't use them, so it was kind of moot for me except in a hypothetical, "in an ideal world" kind of a way.

quote:
Moreover, that he supports legislation to bar employers from collecting one but not the other.


I don't support drug-testing legislation, so don't be putting words in my mouth. Since one could argue that drug-testing laws are a win for employers infringing on your rights, where's the disconnect in my supporting a law that is a win for employees' rights? We don't need to be letting companies walk over us more than they already do.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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