SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- Monday at midnight it will be illegal in California for employers or institutions to force you to hand over your social media passwords. Employers have gone beyond just looking at peoples social media sites, and some say have crossed the line by asking for personal log in information.
So Governor Jerry Brown put a stop to it, but the question is, how much will it help with privacy? According to the new law, social media is defined as web site profiles like facebook, your text messages, email and even blogs. Now employers including universities are not allowed to ask for your private information, but a lot of it may already be out there.
"They've been googling you forever, they have been taking it steps further than that, they have been doing background checks that are easily done, 10-15 dollars buys you a pretty thorough background check on somebody," said Assistant Cal Poly Professor of Multimedia Journalism Patrick Howe.
By simply making your facebook account private, doesn't mean employers can't see your information. "At some point you are probably going to friend a co-worker, and when you do that kind of opens up your entire workplace to see what you have been doing online," said Howe. In the end, Howe said this law may only offer little protection.
"My advice would be to not rely on laws like this one to protect you from information that you have posted in your social media accounts because one way or another employers are likely to have access to a lot of this information," said Howe.
Illinois will also be enacting a similar law that bans employers from seeking private social media information.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:52 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:52:22 GMT
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