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HB 284: "An Act relating to social media privacy of employees and applicants for employment; and providing for an effective date."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 284                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to social media privacy of employees and applicants for employment;                                    
02 and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1. AS 23.10 is amended by adding a new section to article 1 to read:                                     
05            Sec. 23.10.039. Employee personal social media accounts. (a) Except as                                     
06       provided in (d) - (g) of this section, an employer may not request, require, or compel a                          
07       person who is an employee or applicant to                                                                         
08                 (1)  disclose the person's username, password, or other means of                                        
09       authentication for the person's personal social media account;                                                    
10                 (2)  provide access to the person's personal social media account                                       
11       through the person's username, password, or other means of authentication;                                        
12                 (3)  access the person's personal social media account in the presence of                               
13       the employer in a manner that enables the employer to observe the contents of the                                 
14       account;                                                                                                          
01                 (4)  add a person to the list of contacts associated with the person's                                  
02       personal social media account;                                                                                    
03                 (5)  change the settings that affect a third party's ability to view the                                
04       contents of the person's personal social media account; or                                                        
05                 (6)  compel another to comply with a requirement prohibited by this                                     
06       section.                                                                                                          
07            (b)  An employer may not discipline or penalize an employee or an applicant                                  
08       for not                                                                                                           
09                 (1)  complying with a requirement prohibited by (a) of this section; or                                 
10                 (2)  compelling or attempting to compel another employee or applicant                                   
11       to comply with a requirement prohibited by (a) of this section.                                                   
12            (c)  If an employer inadvertently receives the username, password, or other                                  
13       means of authentication for an employee's or applicant's personal social media account                            
14       in violation of (a) of this section, through an otherwise lawful use of a virus scan or                           
15       firewall that monitors the employer's network or electronic devices provided by the                               
16       employer, the employer is not liable for damages in a civil proceeding or subject to                              
17       criminal prosecution for receiving the information. The employer may not share the                                
18       information received under this subsection or use the information to access an                                    
19       employee's or applicant's social media account. The employer shall delete the                                     
20       information as soon as reasonably practicable.                                                                    
21            (d)  Nothing in this section prohibits an employer from obtaining access to                                  
22       publicly available information about an employee or applicant.                                                    
23            (e)  An employer may request or require that an employee or applicant share                                  
24       specific, identifiable data or information that has been reported to the employer if                              
25                 (1)  the employer does not take an action described in (a) or (b) of this                               
26       section; and                                                                                                      
27                 (2)  the request or requirement is necessary to                                                         
28                      (A)  ensure compliance with applicable laws or regulations; or                                     
29                      (B)  investigate an allegation, based on specific information                                      
30            received by the employer that                                                                                
31                           (i)  information proprietary or confidential to the                                           
01                 employer, including private financial information, has been transferred                                 
02                 to the employee's or applicant's social media account without express                                   
03                 permission from the employer; or                                                                        
04                           (ii)  the employee or applicant unlawfully harassed                                           
05                 another employee.                                                                                       
06            (f)  An employer may prohibit an employee from accessing or using a personal                                 
07       social media account during the employee's work hours or with equipment provided                                  
08       by the employer.                                                                                                  
09            (g)  An employer who violates this section is liable in a civil action for actual                            
10       damages, including mental pain and suffering, and equitable relief, plus costs and                                
11       reasonable attorney fees, to a person injured by the employer's conduct.                                          
12            (h)  Unless prohibited by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, an                                 
13       employee who voluntarily acts on an employer's behalf to cause the employer to                                    
14       violate this section may be subject to employee discipline.                                                       
15            (i)  In this section,                                                                                        
16                 (1)  "applicant" means a person who has applied to be an employer's                                     
17       employee;                                                                                                         
18                 (2)  "employee" means a natural person who is employed full time or                                     
19       part time by an employer for wages or as a contractor, intern, or volunteer;                                      
20                 (3)  "employer" means a                                                                                 
21                      (A)  public employer as defined in AS 23.40.250;                                                   
22                      (B)  person who employs one or more employees;                                                     
23                 (4)  "personal social media account" means an account with a provider                                   
24       of electronic communication services in which a user may create, share, and view                                  
25       user-generated content, including uploading or downloading videos or photographs,                                 
26       blogs, video blogs, podcasts, messages, electronic mail, or Internet website profiles or                          
27       locations; a personal social media account does not include an account                                            
28                      (A)  opened at the request of the employer;                                                        
29                      (B)  provided by the employer; or                                                                  
30                      (C)  intended to be used solely on behalf of the employer;                                         
31                 (5)  "username" means a series of characters used to identify a person                                  
01       to allow access to a personal social media account.                                                               
02    * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                          
03 read:                                                                                                                   
04       APPLICABILITY. AS 23.10.039, enacted by sec. 1 of this Act, applies to contracts                                  
05 entered into after the effective date of this Act.                                                                      
06    * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).