New social media privacy protection laws take effect for the New Year

It's a happier new year in California, Michigan and Illinois, where the privacy of social networking sites gains new legal protection today.Effective January 1, it's illegal for employers in those three states to demand the login or password information for employees' or applicants' personal social media pages.

"Hands off" is always the safest policy for schools' oversight of social-media pages

Public schools and colleges that insist on policing "negative" or "controversial" comments on social-media pages are inviting First Amendment liability. A federal court in Virginia recently found that a local elected official can't selectively block commenters from an official government-maintained Facebook page just because they express unfavorable viewpoints.