Chapter 188

2014 -- H 7124 SUBSTITUTE B

Enacted 06/30/14

A N   A C T

RELATING TO EDUCATION AND LABOR - SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY

Introduced By: Representatives Kennedy, Ajello, Naughton, E Coderre, and San Bento

Date Introduced: January 16, 2014

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

CHAPTER 103
STUDENT SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY

16-103-1. Definitions. -- For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) "Social media account" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online service or accounts, or Iinternet website profiles or locations. For the purposes of this chapter, social media account does not include an account opened at a school's behest, or provided by the school, or intended to be used primarily on behalf of the school.

(2) "Applicant" means an applicant for admission to an educational institution.

(3) "Educational institution" or "school" means a private or public institution that offers participants, students, or trainees an organized course of study or training that is academic, technical, trade-oriented, or preparatory for gainful employment in a recognized occupation and shall include any person acting as an agent of the institution.

(4) "Student" means any student, participant, or trainee, whether full-time or part-time, in an organized course of study at an educational institution.

16-103-2. Social media password requests prohibited. -- No educational institution shall:

(1) Require, coerce, or request a student or prospective student to disclose the password or any other means for accessing a personal social media account;

(2) Require, coerce, or request a student or prospective student to access a personal social media account in the presence of the educational institution's employee or representative; or

(3) Require or coerce a student or prospective student to divulge any personal social media account information.

16-103-3. Social media access requests prohibited. -- No educational institution shall 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 their his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or require, request, or cause a student or applicant to alter settings that affect a third party's ability to view the contents of a personal social media account.

16-103-4. Disciplinary action prohibited. -- No educational institution shall:

(1) Discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize or threaten to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize any student for a student's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in 16-103-2, or for refusal to add a coach, teacher, administrator, or other school employee or school volunteer to their his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in 16-103-3; or

(2) Fail or refuse to admit any applicant as a result of the applicant's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in 16-103-2 or for refusal to add a coach, teacher, school administrator, or other school employee or school volunteer to their his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or to alter settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in 16-103-3.

16-103-5. Exceptions. -- This chapter shall not apply to information about a student that is publicly available.

16-103-6. Penalties for violations. -- In any civil action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may:

(1) Award to a prevailing applicant or student declaratory relief, damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and

(2) Award injunctive relief against any school, or agent of any educational institution that or who commits or proposes to commit a violation of this chapter.

SECTION 2. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

CHAPTER 104
STUDENT DATA-CLOUD COMPUTING

16-104-1. Student data-cloud computing. -- (a) For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) "Cloud computing service" means a service that enables convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources to provide a student, teacher, or staff member account-based productivity applications such as email, document storage, and document editing that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or cloud computing service provider interaction.

(2) "Cloud computing service provider" means an entity other than a public elementary or secondary school that operates a cloud computing service.

(3) "Process" means to use, access, manipulate, scan, modify, transform, disclose, store, transmit, transfer, retain, aggregate, or dispose of student data.

(4) "Student data" means any information in any media or format created or provided: (i) By a student; or (ii) By a school board employee about a student in the course of using a cloud computing service, including the student's name, email address, postal address, email message, documents, unique identifiers, and metadata.

(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any person who provides a cloud computing service to an educational institution operating within the state shall process data of a student enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth (12th) grade for the sole purpose of providing the cloud computing service to the educational institution and shall not process such data for any commercial purposes, including, but not limited to, advertising purposes that benefit the cloud computing service provider.

(c) Each cloud computing service that enters into a contract to provide such services shall certify, in writing, that it shall comply with the provisions of this section.

SECTION 3. Title 28 of the General Laws entitled "LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

CHAPTER 56
EMPLOYEE SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY

28-56-1. Definitions. -- For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) "Social media account" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online service or accounts, or Iinternet website profiles or locations. For the purposes of this chapter, social media account does not include an account opened at an employer's behest, or provided by an employer, or intended to be used primarily on behalf of the employer.

(2) "Applicant" means an applicant for employment.

(3) "Employee" means an individual who provides services or labor for an employer for wages or other remuneration.

(4) "Employer" includes the state, and all political subdivisions of the state, and any person in this state, employing individuals, and any person acting in the interest of an employer directly or indirectly.

28-56-2. Social media password requests prohibited. -- No employer shall:

(1) Require, coerce, or request an employee or applicant to disclose the password or any other means for accessing a personal social media account;

(2) Require, coerce, or request an employee or applicant to access a personal social media account in the presence of the employer or representative;

(3) Require or coerce an employee or applicant to divulge any personal social media account information, except when reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or workplace-related violation of applicable laws and regulations and when not otherwise prohibited by law or constitution; provided, that the information is accessed and used solely to the extent necessary for purposes of that investigation or a related proceeding.

28-56-3. Social media access requests prohibited. -- No employer shall compel an employee or applicant to add anyone, including the employer or their agent, to their list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or require, request, or cause an employee or applicant to alter settings that affect a third party's ability to view the contents of a personal social media account.

28-56-4. Disciplinary actions prohibited. -- No employer shall:

(1) Discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize or threaten to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize any employee for an employee's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in 28-56-2, or for refusal to add the employer to their his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter the settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in 28-56-3; or

(2) Fail or refuse to hire any applicant as a result of the applicant's refusal to disclose or provide access to any information specified in 28-56-2, or for refusal to add the employer or their agent to their list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter the settings associated with a personal social media account, as specified in 28-56-3.

28-56-5. Exceptions. -- (a) This chapter shall not apply to information about an applicant or employee that is publicly available.

(b) This chapter shall not prohibit or restrict an employer from complying with a duty to screen employees or applicants before hiring or to monitor or retain employee communications that is established by a self-regulatory organization as defined by the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(26) or under state or federal law or regulation to the extent necessary to supervise communications of regulated financial institutions insurance or securities licensees for banking insurance or securities related business purposes.

28-56-6. Penalties for Violations. -- In any civil action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may:

(1) Award to a prevailing applicant or employee declaratory relief, damages and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and

(2) Award injunctive relief against any employer or agent of any employer that or who commits or proposes to commit a violation of this chapter.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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LC003321/SUB B
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