A while back we warned you about those drunk tweets and questionable Facebook status updates you’ve been posting; not because we’re easily offended or anything, but just in case you were looking for a job (or were a university applicant) and
those assholes they required you to give up your social media passwords as part of the hiring process. We thought it was a lousy policy and were surprised that there weren’t laws against this sort of thing, apparently the State of California agreed.
Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1844 and Senate Bill 1349 which effectively prohibit an employer or university to ask for in writing or request disclosure of an applicant’s user name for social media websites. The language of the new law does not limit it to Facebook or Twitter, it encompasses just about most things you’ll do on the internet from comments left on your favorite tech blog to your own blogs and video uploads.
VentureBeat picked up a great quote from Gov. Brown’s own Facebook page:
[quote]California pioneered the social media revolution. These laws protect Californians from unwarranted invasions of their social media accounts.[/quote]
Though this won’t necessarily help you out if you’re not currently living or looking for employment in the State of California, it does at least lay down some of the groundwork that may lead to farther-reaching pieces of legislation protecting privacy online.