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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1260         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 852

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Cynthia S. Creem

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to social media privacy protection.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Cynthia S. Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Brian R. Mannal

2nd Barnstable

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Ryan C. Fattman

18th Worcester

Thomas J. Calter

12th Plymouth

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

12th Worcester

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Michael Barrett

Third Middlesex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1260        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 852

By Ms. Creem, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 852) of Cynthia S. Creem, William N. Brownsberger, Kay Khan, Martha M. Walz and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to employees social media privacy protection.  Labor and Workforce Development. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to social media privacy protection.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  Chapter 149 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:- 

              Section 189.  It shall be unlawful for any employer to:

              (a) require, request, suggest, or cause an employee or applicant to disclose a user name, password or any other means for access, or provide access through a user name or password, to a personal social media account or service;

              (b) compel an employee or applicant, as a condition of employment or consideration for employment, to add anyone, including the employer or their agent, to the employee or applicant’s list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or service; or

              (c) take or threaten any adverse action against an employee or applicant for refusing to disclose any information specified in clause (a) of this section or for refusing to add the employer to a list of contacts associated with a social media account or service, as specified in clause (b) of this section.

              “Social media” means an electronic medium allowing users to create, share, and view user-generated content, including, but not limited to, uploading or downloading videos or still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, messages, e-mails, or Internet Web site profiles or locations. 

              This section shall not apply to: (1) any social media account or service opened for or provided by an employer and intended solely for professional purposes; or (2) information about an employee or applicant that is in the public domain.

              SECTION 2.  Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 93 the following new section:- 

              Section 94.  It shall be unlawful for any public or private institution providing elementary, secondary, or higher education to:

              (a) require, request, suggest, or cause a student or applicant to disclose a user name, password or any other means for access, or provide access through a user name or password, to a personal social media account or service;

              (b) compel a student or applicant, as a condition of acceptance or participation in curricular or extracurricular activities, to add anyone, including a coach, teacher, school administrator, or other school employee or school volunteer, to the student or applicant’s list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or service; or

              (c) take or threaten any adverse action against a student or applicant, including restraining his or her participation in extracurricular activities, for refusing to disclose any information specified in clause (a) of this section or for refusing to add a coach, teacher, school administrator, or other school employee or school volunteer to a list of contacts associated with a social media account or service, as specified in clause (b) of this section.

              “Social media” means an electronic medium allowing users to create, share, and view user-generated content, including, but not limited to, uploading or downloading videos or still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, messages, e-mails, or Internet Web site profiles or locations. 

              This section shall not apply to: (1) any social media account or service opened for or provided by an educational institution and intended solely for educational purposes; or (2) information about an employee or applicant that is in the public domain.

              Any aggrieved student or prospective student may institute a civil action for damages or to restrain any violation of this section and shall be entitled to recover liquidated damages computed at the rate of $1000 per improper request under subsection (a) or (b) or any adverse action is found under subsection (c) or actual damages, whichever amount is higher; punitive damages when a willful violation is found; and reasonable attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

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