Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that keep employers or universities from demanding access passwords to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter.

California is the fourth state in the nation to enact such a ban this year and though Congress considered a similar measure, it was defeated. ?The Golden State is pioneering the social media revolution and these laws will protect all Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts,? said Governor Brown. The Governor’s Office said that at the college level, many student athletes had become the target of such demands.

Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose

Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose

The first bill, AB 1844, by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, prevents employers from discharging or disciplining employees who refuse to divulge such information under the terms of the bill. However, this restriction does not apply to passwords or other information used to access employer-issued electronic devices. The bill says that nothing in its language is intended to infringe on employers’ existing rights and obligations to investigate workplace misconduct.

Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)

Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)

Senate Bill 1349 by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) establishes a similar privacy policy for postsecondary education students with respect to their use of social media. While the bill prohibits public and private institutions from requiring students, prospective students, and student groups from disclosing user names, passwords or other information about their use of social media, this bill also says that this prohibition does not affect the institution’s right to investigate or punish student misconduct.