New Calif. Law Bans Employers From Asking For Personal Passwords

PHOTO: WorkForce One staffer Rose Capote-Marcus works with a client, Pen Osuji as he works on job applications.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed two privacy laws that would prohibit employers and universities from requiring social media users to share passwords to personal e-mail, Facebook, and other sites.

Brown took to social media himself to announce that he would be signing Assembly Bill 1844 and Senate Bill 1349 on Friday.

"California pioneered the social media revolution. These laws protect Californians from unwarranted invasions of their social media accounts," Brown wrote in a Facebook post.

AB 1844 prohibits employers from demanding your e-mail and social media passwords. Similarly SB 1349 would forbid universities from requiring passwords of prospective students.

Illinois and Maryland have legislation similarly barring the practice. Delaware prohibits universities from soliciting passwords. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states have introduced similar bills.

The Password Protection Act of 2012 is a federal bill that is a making its way through the House. In addition to forbidding employers from requesting passwords, it would prohibit employers from discriminating or retaliating against a prospective or current employee based on his or her refusal to provide access to personal accounts.

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