New CA Law Stops Employers from Requesting Social Media Passwords of Applicants
October 1, 2012 9:14 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.
Supporters of Assembly Bill 1844 said that it is a common sense measure needed to clarify questionable business practices.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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