With less than two months until it goes into effect, many practitioners are focused on bringing their programs into compliance with the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) by January 1, 2020.  But the rapid pace of privacy legal developments could continue next year.  This past year, five states established studies or task forces to study privacy laws and report back to the legislature before their next session begins. Bills in Washington and Illinois passed one legislative chamber before failing, and their proponents have promised a renewed effort in 2020.

This is the first of a series of blog posts on what states other than California were considering to help you anticipate and prepare for 2020.  In total, at least eighteen states considered comprehensive privacy bills this year.  This initial blog post — on the heels of Halloween last week — focuses on some of those that are the scariest: bills in New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
Continue Reading State Privacy Laws Have the Potential to Haunt Industry

California is the latest state to enact legislation restricting the circumstances under which employers or schools can demand access to employees’ or students’ personal social media accounts.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law on Sept. 27.  The first, A.B. 1844, bars employers from requiring or requesting that employees or job applicants disclose personal social media usernames or passwords, access personal social media accounts in the employer’s presence, or otherwise “[d]ivulge any personal social media.” Employers are barred from firing or otherwise retaliating against anyone who refuses to comply with a request that is prohibited under the law. Employers may require employees to disclose information needed to access employer-issued devices and may request access to personal social media the employer reasonably believes is relevant to a misconduct investigation.

S.B. 1349 creates parallel protections for students, prospective students and student groups at public and private colleges and universities.


Continue Reading New California Laws Restrict Employer, College Access to Personal Social-Media Content

Yesterday, Maryland became the first state to pass legislation banning employers from asking employees or job applicants to provide their passwords to social media sites.  The legislation also prohibits employers from taking, or threatening to take, disciplinary action on employees or applicants who refuse to disclose such information. The bill now has to be signed

Lawmakers in Maryland and Illinois have introduced bills that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants or employees to grant access to their social networking accounts.  The bills arose from reports that employers have impliedly or explicitly required access to social networking accounts as a condition of hiring or employment.

A few bills have been