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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 ebakke on 10/1/2012 11:32:58 AM , Rating: 3
Dead serious.
quote:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you want to place my employment (or college admission, or whatever) on hold while you scour publicly available information to ascertain my level of risk to your institution, fine. But to search my private property (digital or otherwise) isn't allowed. Using the logic of this law, an employer could mandate that I give them a DNA sample and if I refuse, they can fire me. Or that I must let them search the vehicle I will be parking on their premises, and if I don't, they can fire me. And that the only recourse to each is for the legislature to come to our defense. That's hogwash.

They don't have the right to this information in the first place. They may ask for it and you may decline. But they cannot force you to provide it.

Cripes folks. Where did our principles go?!


By theapparition on 10/1/2012 11:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
Your using the Constitution wrong. You have free speech, but that only protects you from prosecution from the GOVERNMENT .

You don't have free speech on an internet forum, for example. The moderators can censor your posts, or ban you entirely. Your free speech means nothing there.

Similarly, the right for unlawful seizures means from the government, and does not apply to consensual agreements from civilian parties. The police can't come in your employer's parking lot and unlawfully search your car.

But employment is basically a contract between two parties. If your employer demands it, they most likely were given permission by YOU when you signed an employment agreement. Denial only results in termination, not prosecution. Employment is typically "At Will", so they have that ability to fire you at any time.

If you don't see the clear "line in the sand" difference, there there's not much helping you.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 12:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
The linked article stated government jobs, and colleges (again government). I'll concede the mistake on my part in extending the relationship between government force and the people, and between voluntary exchanges between the government and the people.

So we're back to a voluntary agreement between two parties. Ok. If I don't agree with it, I don't work there. If the employer can't find enough employees given that condition, they'll change it. No different than wages, or benefits, or working conditions, or anything. If I'm willing to accept that intrusion into my personal life, more power to me.

But I absolutely maintain, that this law isn't necessary. An equally effective solution would be for those who care to just say no. This legislation seems nearly identical in principle to "right-to-work" laws regarding union membership. It's just unnecessary. If the conditions of employment aren't agreeable to me, I won't work there!


By Invane on 10/1/2012 12:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree. It's been a clear trend that once one company starts getting away with doing something shady, others follow. For example, the current trend to force binding arbitration agreements into EULA agreements. It was uncommon, but nearly every major EULA you agree to any more has a binding arbitration clause that strips your right to sue.

The problem is that once it becomes the typical way of doing business, you no longer have a choice because they are all requiring the same ridiculous agreement in order for you to obtain your job or do business with them. The result? You are forced to agree to their unreasonable terms.

While I hate unnecessary legislation as much (or more) than the next guy, I believe this legislation is absolutely necessary and needs to be propagated to all 50 states. Employers have made it clear they are willing to abuse the current position of power they hold in the job market.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 1:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The result? You are forced to agree to their unreasonable terms.
Bogus. Support the guy who doesn't include it. Can't find one? Start your own company and market the hell out of it to people like yourself. Not happy with either of those options? Don't buy the product!!!

There is no force anywhere in this situation. Stop pretending there is. There may be a set of options that are not your most ideal set. But that's hardly force.


By Erudite on 10/1/2012 2:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think you might be missing the point. I don't think anybody has said they're forcing this information from you. With rare exception, few people can really force you to give them any information. What they're saying is that a) it shouldn't be asked for in the first place, and most importantly, b) they should not be able to deny you employment or application to a school because you don't give them the access that they want.

Should they do their due diligence and check out your public Facebook page? Sure. Should they ask you for your password so they can see the stuff that you deem private? Absolutely not.

You're right, this bill shouldn't be necessary, but when companies/schools overstep what should be obvious boundaries without consequence, something needs to be done.

What should really happen is everybody that they ask for this information from should say no, and then this bill really would be unnecessary. But as as long as there are people willing to comply with this kind of request, this law will be necessary so that those of us that won't comply don't have less or no chance of a job that (possibly by refusal of this request alone) we might be a better choice for.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 2:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are missing the point. The comment I made about force was in response to the previous poster's EULA analogy. And that poster absolutely did claim that "you are forced to agree to their unreasonable terms".
quote:
Should they ask you for your password so they can see the stuff that you deem private? Absolutely not.
Should we use the force of government to prevent them from asking for it? I contend no.
quote:
You're right, this bill shouldn't be necessary, but when companies/schools overstep what should be obvious boundaries without consequence, something needs to be done.
Yes, and that "something" is to say no! No is the consequence. Particularly when, as you state, you may be the most qualified candidate.

How quickly we turn to the government to take care of us. Ugh.


By Erudite on 10/1/2012 3:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
I see where you are coming from. Most of us do, I think.

However, given this:

quote:
Should we use the force of government to prevent them from asking for it? I contend no.


That is a good question. I guess the answer best depends on whether the government is supposed to protect its citizens, and what from. As much as I don't like to see government intervention where it isn't necessary, the fact is that sometimes it is necessary. I shouldn't need to worry that I might be denied a job or further eduction at a good school (theoretically), just because I don't want someone else to have access to my private information. I'm not saying that it is right that you need the government to step in, but sometimes right or not, it is necessary, because unless everyone they ask says no, then we, as prospective employees/students, cannot force them to stop asking by actions on our part alone. And there will always be someone willing to give up at least some of their privacy in return for the possibility of landing a job or furthering their education.

And even these laws can't force them to stop asking, as I said before. It will just make it a bit painful when they do, providing someone that is asked reports it, and that report can be substantiated.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 4:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is a good question. I guess the answer best depends on whether the government is supposed to protect its citizens, and what from.
I argue that the government's primary role is to protect us from those who would do us harm, and to provide a legal system so I have recourse against those who already have. I would also argue that me not entering into a voluntary agreement with another party does not constitute harm. Clearly, my opinion on the latter point is in the severe minority. :)


By SlyNine on 10/1/2012 4:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
You are so COMPLETELY out of touch with reality.

Listen to your proposal,lol.

If all the companies you apply for require something, start your own company. LOL. Are you seriously suggesting that anyone that can't find a job has the ability to start their own company.

Dude, you are a JOKE!


By theapparition on 10/1/2012 4:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that in a perfect world, this law shouldn't be necessary. I don't believe anyone thinks that it should. However, as you know the world is far from perfect. If this was unconstitutional, there would be no need for things like this and the first time an employer asked for this information they'd be sued.

But as I said, most employment is at will. You're there to work for as long as you want, and the employer keeps you for as long as they want. The employment is also governed by the Employee policy. Acceptance to employment means you agree to all provisions of the employee policy. Don't like it, then leave. The trouble is there may be a limited pool of jobs to chose from, or that perhaps you've been turned down for a prestigious university and now the only place that will take you is community college. Yes, no one is forcing you to give anything you want, but you'll also have to deal with the civil consequences of such. I applaud you for trying to make a stand, but the problem is 99% of your peers would roll over to keep their job so this would otherwise never change.

You don't think that has a direct effect on your present and future ability to grow? Yeah, I could always quit my 100k a year software programming job to pump gas or flip burgers, but what are the chances of getting another 100k+ job at a company that doesn't have the same restrictions? Or how about I've been given a full scholarship to Cal Tech, but they've now rescinded my application due to failure to provide social media passwords. Instead of being a Cal Tech engineer, I'm now getting a tech degree at the local community college.

Right now, California made it illegal to deny employment or acceptance due to refusal to provide your social media passwords. This is a good thing. Should it have been unnecessary? I agree with you 100%. But this does need to be part of the state's legal code.

quote:
The linked article stated government jobs, and colleges (again government).

Just some other corrections for you.

Government jobs are not "The Government" . Yes, they may be the employer, but it's still governed by the exact same civil agreement. Worst penalty is termination. The Bill of Rights was written to protect "The Government" from knocking down your door in the middle of the night and seizing your possessions or putting you in jail because you dared question their authority.

Working at the state DMV or even the Federal Post Office doesn't change anything. There are no more or less rights involved than if you worked at the Quickie mart.

And colleges are by and large private institutions who generate profit. Many have government donations, but even state colleges are pretty much privately held in all but paper. So similarly there is no argument for them denying applications.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 5:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just some other corrections for you. ...
Agreed. Conceded. I jumped the gun in my initial knee jerk reaction.

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but I'll state it one more time for kicks. I'm not claiming that rejecting a job based on online profile credentials is an easy decision, or that it doesn't come with consequences. It most certainly does. And those will absolutely vary based on a whole slew of factors including your industry, your skills, where you live, etc. So it may be that doing so would sacrifice money, or future career prospects, or something. Sure.

But that's absolutely the same scenario as if I remove myself from the applicant pool because I'm not willing to work nights. Or because I won't submit myself to a 10-yr background check for the feds. Or because some documentary convinced me Big Bad [insert whatever industry/company you despise] is evil. Or because the person who would be my supervisor comes across as a total douche. Or maybe I never got an interview in the fist place because I chose not to work for a company that's anti-union. Or maybe I didn't apply in the first place because I have a moral objection to a company that outsources labor to Chinese factories.

The point is that I view this as just another factor/condition of that specific employment.


By Erudite on 10/2/2012 11:40:12 AM , Rating: 2
OK. I see that you're pretty set in your ways here, and that is fine. We're all entitled to our opinions. But let me pose this question to you (this is hypothetical):

What if this law were taken out of effect, and more and more companies/schools started requiring this type of information. Lets say, for the sake of argument, that every employer and school in the state of CA jumped on the "require social media/email login info" bandwagon. Now if you live in CA and don't want/aren't willing to provide that information, you have to move to another state where either it isn't popular, or isn't legal for them to ask. Is that OK? Should you be forced to move not just from your home but to another state just to find a job where you don't have to give up information that shouldn't even be requested in the first place? Because that kind of forcing will work, because it is done to you by yourself. And then even if you can afford to so something like that, not everybody is in a financial situation where they can. Is it OK that they either have to give up that information to provide for themselves/their family, or work at a job where they can't make ends meet?

Is that scenario likely? As much as I'd like to say it isn't likely, part of me is afraid it is. Will it ever be every company/school? Probably not. But how about a majority? Possibly. If you don't think so, just look at how many people use Facebook (for an example of likelihood). A few years ago, if you'd have told me that it would be this popular, I'd have told you that you were nuts, and that there couldn't be that many people willing to share that kind of information with other people. But I was definitely wrong. And while I won't ever have a Facebook page, I can see its appeal.

There will always be those of us that aren't willing to give up personal information like that, but unfortunately I think we're a small percentage. So if it becomes the norm to require that information, and most people are willing to give up that information... and you can't get a job that provides you with the living you need to support yourself and your family... is it OK to have a law like this then? Or are you willing to move to another country just so you can keep your ideals? And if you do that, plan on giving up some of the things you love (even though you may not be aware of them now) about where you live now.

Just food for thought. Just because it isn't necessarily the norm right now to require this information to get a job, doesn't mean that it won't be in the future.


By ebakke on 10/3/2012 10:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
you have to move to another state where either it isn't popular, or isn't legal for them to ask. Is that OK? Should you be forced to move ...
In this scenario, no one has forced me into anything. I still have free will and I still get to make a decision. I will have to make a value judgement. Life is full of situations where our list of options doesn't include our most ideal choice. But the choices aren't simply "give passwords" or "move". I can make a case to the employer why I'm not comfortable with that, but understand their desire to ensure I'm a low-risk employee. I can ask if something else would accomplish their goal - something that's more acceptable to me. I can fight their request through the legal system if I feel I was unfairly targeted, or if I felt I was punished in their attempt to force me to breach my agreement with another party (in this case, Facebook). (Admittedly, I'm no legal scholar - no idea if I'd have a case there). I can start my own business. I can choose a different job that doesn't have that requirement. I can do cash-only jobs for people. Or, yeah, I can move. In short, I have many options and just like every other decision in my life, I will have to choose which works best for me. I will have to decide which values are most important to me, and which I might compromise. I may have to choose an outcome that isn't my favorite, or most desirable, but no one forced that upon me.
quote:
Is it OK that they either have to give up that information to provide for themselves/their family, or work at a job where they can't make ends meet?
I suspect the frequency of not being able to find any job other than one that requires your online credentials is stupidly low. But yes, if you have no savings, no job prospects, no income, and mouths to feed - you damn well better do whatever it takes to support yourself. This seems equivalent to, say, taking a high risk job like coal mining. If you need the money, and you feel you have no other choices, do it temporarily. Take the risk/sacrifice in the short term until you can do something different/better.
quote:
So if it becomes the norm to require that information, and most people are willing to give up that information... and you can't get a job that provides you with the living you need to support yourself and your family... is it OK to have a law like this then?
I still feel the law is unnecessary. First, I shouldn't have children unless I can already support them. But second, the exact same argument from above, applies now. I still have choices.
quote:
Or are you willing to move to another country just so you can keep your ideals?
Well, that's an option, I suppose. But as you state, that's not exactly a clear cut solution. That, just like accepting a job requiring your online credentials, has some good things and some bad things that come along with it. So, as with everything else, I'd have to evaluate the good and the bad to figure out if it would be a decision that makes sense for me.


By Rukkian on 10/1/2012 11:51:13 AM , Rating: 2
And then when you don't get the job that you need to support your family, what then.

I really wish it would not be needed, but there are plenty of instances of this happening. Courts are not holding your private information online the same as private information other places.

I think having states have the right to make a law such as this (even if it just clarifies what should be common sense from the constitution makes sense). Much better than the federal government getting involved.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 12:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And then when you don't get the job that you need to support your family, what then.
You get a different job!

quote:
I think having states have the right to make a law such as this (even if it just clarifies what should be common sense from the constitution makes sense). Much better than the federal government getting involved.
Sure. If one were to create a law saying we can only buy apples on Sunday afternoons, I'd prefer that be at the state-level too. But supporting federalism and supporting this law are separate issues.


By Techslave on 10/1/2012 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
You must work at a lot of gas stations. The "just get another job" argument doesn't fly in career fields involving more specialized disciplines. When you have a. An economy with a dearth of jobs and b. Employers abusing current or potential employees because of a., then yes laws like this are needed.

It's unfortunate, but true.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 12:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm certainly not going to go to my government overlords and demand they go do my dirty work for me. The "just get another job" argument does too work. I didn't like my last job, for a variety of reasons, so I left. And before that, I left. All the way back to my first paper route. Unless you've worked the same job your whole life, or only left because of your employer's choosing, you've also taken part in my wild and crazy idea.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 12:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore, if your argument is "this law is needed because the economy sucks" then I suggest addressing the problem and not the symptom.


By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 10/1/2012 1:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
So because Sudafed (the real stuff that they make meth out of, not the crappy replacements) only helps the symptoms of a cold without actually attacking the virus that causes it, we should suffer through the sneezing and postnasal drip while the virus runs its course?

Given that you can't get over the cold (the bad economy) overnight, how is it a bad idea to treat the runny nose (employer abuse) palliatively in the meantime? Sheesh, it's like people think we live in some kind of ideal world, here...


By Techslave on 10/1/2012 1:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to argue with a paper boy. Like another post had stated, everyone gets it but you. Maybe some day you'll be old enough to figure it out.

Or maybe not.


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
Oh snap! So apparently a debate of the ideas is out then. Shame.


By SlyNine on 10/1/2012 4:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
You're idea sucks anyways. I bet you're anti union and anti workers rights. You seem to forget why we got both of them in the first place.

Obviously with the internet, new laws are going to be created. What are you, an anarchist? Id bet you'd be the first one to fall in such a world.


By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 10/1/2012 1:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you have a. An economy with a dearth of jobs and b. Employers abusing current or potential employees because of a., then yes laws like this are needed.

Precisely. If we lived in an ideal world where everyone could simply choose to not work for an employer that seeks to violate their privacy, this legislation wouldn't be necessary.

Since we don't, it is.


By SlyNine on 10/1/2012 4:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I think most people are agreeing with this law. Maybe you need to start your own country if you don't agree. It makes about as much sense as telling people to start their own company.

You seem to have a function fixation issue. Most people are not for expansion of the government, but I'm not for letting companies do whatever they want either. Corporations have ALL the power in this country. Yet you are all for letting them walk all over people because you don't want a simple piece of federal law that actually helps people


By ebakke on 10/1/2012 4:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but you sir (or madam) are an idiot.

* Whether or not other people agree or disagree with this law is irrelevant to my opinion of it.
* I can't go start another country. The land has been claimed. Starting another company however, is something countless people do every single day.
* Corporations don't have the power, the people have the power. However, they're all too willing to give it up to someone else under the guise that this other person will look out for their best interests.
* I'm not letting corporations walk over anyone. I'm advocating individuals stand up for themselves.
* It's a California (that's one of the 50 states) law.


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