California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users, limiting the access of employers and educational institutions to account information.

Assembly Bill 1844 prohibits employers from demanding user names, passwords or any other information related to social media accounts from employees and job applicants. Under the terms of the bill, employers are banned from discharging or disciplining employees who refuse to divulge such information. However, this restriction does not apply to passwords or other information used to access employer-issued electronic devices. The bill further stipulates that nothing in its language is intended to infringe on employers' existing rights and obligations to investigate workplace misconduct.

Senate Bill 1349 establishes a similar privacy policy for postsecondary education students with respect to their use of social media. While the bill prohibits public and private institutions from requiring students, prospective students and student groups to disclose user names, passwords or other information about their use of social media, it states that this prohibition does not affect the institution's right to investigate or punish student misconduct.

More information on the bills