The bills proposed in both states are part of a wider trend toward protecting students and job applicants from having to turn over their private social media information. Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee proposed a bill in February that would take similar action in that city.
Civil libertarians were recently alarmed by a section of the University of North Carolina’s student-athlete handbook that demanded the school’s athletes must choose an administrator or coach to monitor their social media accounts throughout the academic year, a policy that prompted action across the country.
Delaware in August passed a law that said colleges and universities cannot require or request that students turn over login information, nor can they ask students to log on to their personal social networking sites in the presence of a school representative.
Data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures show that in May, Maryland enacted legislation that prohibits employers from requesting or requiring an employee or applicant to disclose personal social media login information, and in June, Illinois followed suit.
In 2012, 14 states considered similar legislation that would restrict employers from requesting social networking account information from applicants, students, or employees.