California to ban employers asking for your Facebook password

California wants to become the second state to ban the practice of employers asking current employees as well as job applicants for access to their social media accounts, such as for Facebook.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Maryland may have been the first, but California is eyeing silver. This week, the Golden State moved to fight back against employers demanding access to Facebook accounts.

The bill (AB1844), which was introduced in late February, passed the House unanimously (73 votes to 0). Now it moves onto the Senate.

AB1844 would ban employers from requiring current or prospective employees to disclose usernames or passwords for social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The bill's author, Democratic Assemblymember Nora Campos of San Jose, says there are too few social media privacy laws to protect employees.

"I am proud to have received this overwhelming show of support for the protection of our privacy rights," Campos said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the Senate and the Governor to ensure that this bill is enacted into law."

In addition to Maryland and California, similar measures are pending in many other states, including Illinois and Michigan. Furthermore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are also working on legislation that would ban the practice nationally.

Last month, the House voted down an amendment that would have banned employers demanding access to Facebook. This month, however, the politicians fighting for our rights returned with their own bill, which would impact the whole country, not just individual states: the Password Protection Act.

See also:

Editorial standards