Wednesday, October 3, 2012

California's Social Media Privacy Protection effective January 1, 2013

Recently, California Governor Brown signed into law the Social Media Protection of individuals against employers who like to snoop on the activities of people in the social media platforms.

Upon signing the Bills to become California Laws, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced his action through various social media platforms like; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace,  that he signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users in California. 

The following illustrates the briefs of both Bills; 

The "Assembly Bill 1844 authored by Nora Campos (D-San Jose) prohibits employers from demanding user names, passwords or any other information related to social media accounts from employees and job applicants. Employers are banned from discharging or disciplining employees who refuse to divulge such information under the terms of the bill. However, this restriction does not apply to passwords or other information used to access employer-issued electronic devices. The bill further stipulates that nothing in its language is intended to infringe on employers’ existing rights and obligations to investigate workplace misconduct." -

The details of this AB 1844 can be read through this link -

The "Senate Bill 1349 authored by Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) establishes a similar privacy policy for postsecondary education students with respect to their use of social media. While the bill prohibits public and private institutions from requiring students, prospective students and student groups to disclose user names, passwords or other information about their use of social media, it stipulates that this prohibition does not affect the institution’s right to investigate or punish student misconduct". -

The details of this SB 1349 can be read through this link -


This new laws will reinforce privacy of individuals, and protect them from wrong practices of several organizations who like to know the private activities of people working in their environments. These private activities remain private and they are not the main core skills and expertise required when performing a job.

Individuals who are responsible are capable of differentiating or not mixing their private affairs to that of a business activity paid time by the employer or a particular organization. Employers and other organizations must respect individuals with their privacy as these people are not slaves to organizations per se where such activities needed to be known as a requirement for employment.

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