Bills in California protect privacy of social media

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly bill 1844 into law Sept. 27, which prevents employers from asking applicants for their social media information, according to a state press release.

The bill, alongside the college focused Senate Bill 1349 that also passed, prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that an individual disclose usernames or passwords for the purpose of accessing social media, according to the bill’s text.

“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,” Governor Edmund Brown Jr. said in the press release.

The assembly and Governor Brown opposed the use of such information, but not all feel the same way.

“I agree with it,” said 18-year-old undecided major Cody Lamb. “If they are going to drug test you I don’t think asking for Facebook is much of a jump.”

While Lamb was okay with the possibility of a job asking for social media information, he wasn’t so sure about Universities asking the same.

“I have no idea why they would want that information,” Lamb said. “If there were legitimate reasons to ask, then yeah.”

Various students including 19-year-old undecided major Marco Carillo could see the reasons as well but felt that it was not appropriate for employers or schools to ask for such things.

Giovanna Scurti, a 19-year old English major, said she could understand why jobs or schools would be interested in checking on individuals but she was glad they passed the law for one reason.

“I think its an important part of freedom of speech,” said Scurti.

AB 1844 author Assemblymember Nora Campos said that California must continue its privacy protections to keep pace with advancing technology and minimize the threat of bias and discrimination in the workplace.

“I applaud the governor for reaffirming that private social media accounts are just that, private,” Campos said in a press release statement. “As a society we do not expect to have to disclose personal information that is not related to employment in order to get a job or keep a job.”