College students’ social media privacy is officially a bipartisan issue.
Oregon legislators passed a bill through the state’s Senate April 21 barring community colleges and universities from asking prospective students for their social media log-in information as part of a school’s application process.
The Oregon bill passed unanimously, and now goes to the House. Wisconsin lawmakers could follow suit, as legislators from both sides of the aisle advocate for a bill that would disallow employers, landlords, and universities from requesting social media log-in information from tenants or aspiring college athletes.
The Oregon legislation wouldn’t stop colleges and universities from examining social media information – tweets and Facebook posts, for example – made publicly available. The law would, however, put a stop to the practice of combing through an applicant’s social media information kept out of the public eye, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Oregon’s effort would protect any social media site that allows people to “create, share and view user-generated content.”
The Wisconsin proposal, introduced by Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, has quickly gained bipartisan support in the Legislature.
Rep. Garey Bies, a Republican from Sister Bay who’s co-sponsoring the bill, said social media access should be protected and people shouldn’t be expected to give it to employers or potential employers.
“I don’t think it is right that people could demand it from you for any consideration,” Bies said.