The New Year marks the beginning of a new social media law in California. Starting January 1, 2013 — it is illegal for employers and institutions to compel their members to submit their social media passwords. Aside from checking out people’s social media profiles, some employers have taken it one step further and asked for their employee’s personal log-in information.
Protecting People’s Privacy
The new law defines social media as web sites that include Facebook profiles, SMS messages, emails, and blogs. Acquiring personal information from these sites will not longer be allowed, but the fact remains that a lot of these data may already be out in the public. Thus, some are skeptical about the effectiveness of the new legislation.
Employers Have Been “Googling” for Years
According to Patrick Howe, an Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at California Polytechnic State University, employers have been “googling” their employees for years. They’ve been conducting background checks, and even spending 10 to 15 dollars in making thorough research about a person.