Extra Password Protection For Employees and College Students Thanks to AB 1844 and SB 1349

Two bills were recently chaptered the provide employees and college students protection from the prying eyes of employers and college admissions.

Both AB 1844 (employers) and SB 1349 (colleges) prohibit requiring employees or students to (1) disclose their usernames or passwords for accessing personal social media, (2) access their personal social media in the presence of the employer or college’s representative, or (3) divulge any social media information.

Under both bills, social media is defined “as an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.”

AB 1844 does not prohibit an employer from asking an employee to divulge personal social media that is relevant to an investigation of employee misconduct or violation of applicable laws and regulations.

SB 1349 does not affect the rights or obligations of a college to protect against and investigate alleged student misconduct or violation of applicable laws and regulations or to take any adverse actions against a student or prospective student or student group for any lawful reason.