Good news and bad news from Delaware Lawmakers

Reading the following SFGate story was a real rollercoaster ride: 

DOVER, Del. (AP) — State lawmakers have given final approval to a bill prohibiting universities and colleges in Delaware from requiring that students or applicants for enrollment provide their social networking login information.

The bill, which unanimously passed the Senate shortly after midnight Saturday, also prohibits schools and universities from requesting that a student or applicant log onto a social networking site so that school officials can access the site profile or account.

The bill includes exemptions for investigations by police agencies or a school's public safety department if criminal activity is suspected.

Lawmakers approved the bill after deleting an amendment that expanded the scope of its privacy protections to elementary and secondary school students.

First of all there was the realization that if lawmakers had to draft this law it meant universities and colleges were already strong-arming students into giving up their social networking credentials.  This descent into hell knocked my breath away. 

But I groped my way back from the burning sulfur since the new bill seemed to show a modicum of common sense. 

Until finally we learn that younger children won't be afforded the same protections…   Can teachers and principals actually bully youngsters to log in to Facebook and access their accounts?  Can they make kids hand over their passwords?  What are we teaching our young people about their identity?

Why oh why oh why oh? 

 

One thought on “Good news and bad news from Delaware Lawmakers

  1. Actually, the reasoning for Social Networking is very different, at least at the University of South Florida. What we want to do is create a better relationship with students BEFORE they are students. In order to do that we would like an identity that carries between Parking Services, Library, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, etc. We don't WANT to ask for students SSNs to establish that unique identity. Instead, we rely on the social networks to make that vetting for us.

    From the IdM at a University perspective I have huge issues with this law. Our IdM system supports SSO for 50+ services across the University. Something like this in Florida would be pulling the only piece of identity we have to unify the login for all these services. And it is incredibly short sighted, since many state and federal entities still require reports to be cross referenced and prepared based on student's SSN.

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