Calif. Passes Social Media Privacy Laws

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that ban employers and universities from requiring applicants to share social media credentials, such as passwords, or related personal content, InformationWeek reports.

Authored by Assembly member Nora Campos (D-San Jose), AB 1844 bars employers from demanding social media-related material from employees or prospective employees. SB 1349, introduced by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), outlines a similar policy for colleges and prospective students. Both bills will take effect Jan. 1.

While the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thinks that the passing of the bills is a step in the right direction, the group states that the battle for social media privacy is ongoing. ACLU maintains that the law doesn’t “make it clear” whether schools have the right to request a password or otherwise gain complete access to a student’s account. Additionally, the group believes that high school students are still susceptible to social media privacy issues. A blog posting on stated:

“The student law only applies to post-secondary students (universities, colleges, etc.), meaning that California high school students — who increasingly use social media to capture intimate details of their lives — don’t have the same protection. We hope to see both of these issues addressed in the near future.”

Read the SB 1349.

Read AB 1844.

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