Last week, Michigan joined the growing number of states to enforce a social media privacy law. Like similar legislation in California and Maryland, it will now be a lot harder for employers and educators to gain access to employees’ or students’ social media accounts. Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation, which prohibits educators or employers from asking for usernames or passwords, into law on Friday. Sarah Wolfe’s article “Michigan Social Media Privacy Law Signed By Governor” has more details.
California District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled Monday that Facebook might owe you as much as $10. The ruling is the latest development in the class action suit against Facebook over Sponsored Stories. The case also marks continuing efforts to limit Facebook’s access to users’ personal information. Jessica Dye’s article “Judge Gives Initial OK to Revised Facebook Privacy Settlement” appeared on Reuters.
It seems it’s already time for the 2012 end of year lists to start appearing. Here is one from Alex Fitzpatrick on the “7 Landmark Tech Laws Passed in 2012.” It will be interesting to see how some of these spread to other states and countries in the coming months.
Given the new laws passed recently in numerous states such as New York, New Jersey, California, South Carolina, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Massachusetts, it is more important than ever to have a clear social media policy in place in your organization. The policy must, of course, be compliant with the law and serve the best interests of company and employees alike. Elizabeth M Ebanks provides some excellent advice in her article “Have No Fear: 5 Steps to Implementing an Effective Social Media Policy.”
Everything old is new again on social media. Human resources departments need to take a close look at their harassment and discrimination policies in relation to the use of social media. Tom Starner provides an in-depth look at these issues here.
Governor Jerry Brown very appropriately tweeted that he had signed the social media privacy bills. He later followed up with a press release. The Los Angeles Times online version carried the story “Gov. Jerry Brown Tweets That He Signed Social Media Privacy Bills.”
California’s new social media privacy law, which passed last month but is still pending signing into effect, may be a boon for employers and employees alike unless you look at the financial industry. The new law would help to protect individuals’ privacy and protect employers from liability. Matt Williams provides some insight into the benefits in his article “California Ramps Up Social Media Policy.”
Dan Jameson provides insight into the potential pitfalls that the law could pose in the securities industry and other financial industries: “Privacy Laws Threaten Compliance.”
California is poised to pass SB1349 which would make it illegal for colleges or universities to demand students reveal their social media passwords. Lori Pruitt’s article “Law Would Ban College From Getting Social Media Passwords” looks at this timely back-to-school issue.
Because Facebook is a US based company, other countries have had difficulty in applying their own laws to disputes over content posted on the social media site. A recent controversy over The Aboriginal Memes Facebook page saw the Australian poster using US free speech protections to avoid Australian anti-discrimination laws. For the full story, read Rod McGuirk’s article “Facebook Pressured to Remove Page Deemed Racist.”
Both public and private schools in Delaware are now subject to a law which prohibits them from requiring students to surrender their social media passwords. California and Maryland are debating similar legislation to protect student privacy. Neha Prakash discusses the issues in “Delaware Law to Give Students Increased Online Privacy.”