Senator Friedman votes to protect social media privacy

BOSTON – On March 15, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her Senate colleagues in unanimously passing S.2320, An Act relative to social media privacy protection. Sponsored by Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton), the bill aims to protect the personal social media accounts of students and employees across the Commonwealth.

Specifically, the legislation prevents employers and schools from requesting and requiring access to the personal social media accounts of applicants, employees, and students as a condition of acceptance, employment, or participation in school activities.

“Employers and schools should never have the power to coerce prospective employees or students into sharing the usernames and passwords of their personal social media accounts,” said Senator Friedman. “While it is vital to be cognizant of the material we choose to share on social media, it is critically important that we put necessary online privacy safeguards in place to protect all students and employees in the Commonwealth.”

“I am proud to have bipartisan support among my Senate colleagues to increase online privacy protections for students and employees across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Creem. “We would never allow employers or schools to read our diaries or journals, open our mail or rifle through our personal photo albums. The private communications and information we store online in our personal social media accounts deserve the same legal protections.”

More than twenty-five states have already enacted legislation addressing this issue, and bills on this topic are pending in many other jurisdictions. This is the third session in which the Senate has voted favorably on this bill.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.