California protects employees' social media accounts with new law

Thursday was a good day for personal privacy on the web, at least in California. Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill into law that makes it illegal for employers to ask employees for their social media accounts passwords. If any employer wants to ask for your Facebook or Twitter password they better do it by the end of the year, because come January 1st this new law will come in effect.

Facebook has publicly denounced such practices by employers as a violation of personal privacy.

Governor Brown also signed a similar law that applies to universities and colleges, essentially making it illegal for them to ask students to disclose their social media passwords. The governor's office was concerned with a growing number of universities snooping into the accounts of their athletes.

The move was announced on all major social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

Similar legislation has been passed in Illinois and Maryland, and there's even a bill in Congress which has yet to become law.

Source: ArsTechnica

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19 Comments

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My work just captures all SSL logins to google and facebook on our work pcs using a man-in-the-middle attack, by publishing self signed certs to our computers for each site and forcing us to go through a transparent bluecoat SSL proxy. This way not only can they steal our logins if they want to they can read anything we post at work. It is in the user agreement and login banner that they are allowed to. And no this isnt a joke or sarcasam.

Great, let's add a new law for something that DOESN'T EVEN HAPPEN. No employers ask for passwords to Facebook. This is a rumor that got way out of control.

dyl4n said,
Great, let's add a new law for something that DOESN'T EVEN HAPPEN. No employers ask for passwords to Facebook. This is a rumor that got way out of control.
Your right my employer doesn't ask for them they just "steal" them.

So....exactly what stops an employer from turning a laptop towards the person being interviewed and saying "sign in to your facebook account"?

Rohdekill said,
So....exactly what stops an employer from turning a laptop towards the person being interviewed and saying "sign in to your facebook account"?


What if I don't have one?

ShareShiz said,

What if I don't have one?

Then you have no facebook account and no job when you leave. There is no law prohibiting discrimination based on web service accounts.

Glad they took the time to consider and deliver a decision on this issue pressing potential employees. Sad that employers will still use social media to screen applicants though.

Wow, i'm surprised that their still exists a country in the modern world that allows a company to access private data of employees. Every country or state should have a law that protects the employee to this kind of weird and infrighting requests from a employer. i think that in Europe this would be an impossible request from an employee. Only the police should be able to access the account if they have a legimate reason and legal case

Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})

bguy_1986 said,
Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})


Yeah because nothing at all can be done before debt is addressed no matter how progressive it may be.

Xenosion said,

Yeah because nothing at all can be done before debt is addressed no matter how progressive it may be.

nothing should be done... It's out of control and should be an easy fix if these politicians would sit down, stop bickering, and put together a fix for it. So much waste goes on everywhere, and we are worried about facebook. seems kind of stupid to me... If an employer wants my facebook password, I'm either going to decline the job, or I'm going to get rid of facebook if I really want the job.... it's not that big of a deal. Paying off my college debt is a big deal to me...

bguy_1986 said,

nothing should be done... It's out of control and should be an easy fix if these politicians would sit down, stop bickering, and put together a fix for it. So much waste goes on everywhere, and we are worried about facebook. seems kind of stupid to me... If an employer wants my facebook password, I'm either going to decline the job, or I'm going to get rid of facebook if I really want the job.... it's not that big of a deal. Paying off my college debt is a big deal to me...

Debt an easy fix. What parallel universe do you live in?

bguy_1986 said,
Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})


bguy_1986 said,
Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})


bguy_1986 said,
Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})


bguy_1986 said,
Glad they have their priorities in order.... It's not like they have a huge debt problem they should be worried about....

(I do think it's an OK law to protect privacy, but debt needs to become a higher priority in this country.... freedom isn't going to matter if we keep spending like we do {and not paying for it})


Damnit phone

In order to payoff our nations debt it would cost everyone 100% of their salery for the next ~10 years. This didn't cost anything, it was just common sense. You're worrying about the wrong people my friend.

Eddo89 said,

Debt an easy fix. What parallel universe do you live in?

Budgets aren't that hard to put together.... I'm not saying pay it off in 10 years or less. Atleast get a budget together and START paying back some of the debt instead of going farther into the hole! That much of it shouldn't be hard at all!

bguy_1986 said,

Budgets aren't that hard to put together.... I'm not saying pay it off in 10 years or less. Atleast get a budget together and START paying back some of the debt instead of going farther into the hole! That much of it shouldn't be hard at all!

And you didn't think they didn't start that? You must watch the news a lot. I think a lot of government would like to start paying their debt, or even better, just to have a surplus. Get back to reality if you didn't think the Governor didn't care about the debts or not trying to do anything about it.

Sometimes, is best NOT to have politicians settle with the budget issue, there are other people with better know-how. And there are other issues they can deal with in the mean time.

Makes me wonder then, if one was applying for a security position in IT, if they could ask for the password as a test to see if they would actually give the password out. If so, then they fail the interview. If they refuse to give password, they move on to the next set of qualifications for applicant.