Legislation says universities can’t monitor social media accounts

Schools cannot use social media monitoring software, according to new legislation.

Protecting the social media privacy of college students and university employees once again proved to be a bipartisan issue May 16, as the North Carolina House passed a bill that would prohibit colleges and universities from demanding passwords to Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with all other social networks.

North Carolina, with the passage of House Bill 846, joins a lengthy list of state legislatures that have effectively ended the brief higher-education practice of requesting social media log-in information for student and employee background checks.

The North Carolina legislation — which passed with a vote of 76-36 — makes exceptions for criminal investigations and employer-held devices. One state lawmaker, Rep. Paul Stam, spoke out after the vote, saying the new privacy law would prohibit schools from scouring social media accounts when they have good reason to do so.…Read More

Wisconsin lawmakers tackle issue of social media privacy

Some colleges and employers around the country are prying open applicants’ private online accounts – a trend that a bipartisan pair of lawmakers want to stop in Wisconsin, the Journal Sentinel reports. Their draft bill would block employers, landlords and universities from pressuring job seekers, tenants or aspiring college athletes from being required to turn over their passwords to their email accounts or social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. The bill would still allow these groups to look at applicants’ or students’ public postings on the Internet. Bradley Shear, an attorney who has consulted on and advocated for similar legislation in other states, said the practice is the modern equivalent of requiring job applicants or young students to turn over their mail and diaries or allow eavesdropping on their phone calls.

Read more

…Read More