Print 70 comment(s) - last by ebakke.. on Oct 3 at 10:25 AM

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.


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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:

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
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. :)

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