Report: California Legislators Approve Two Internet Bills

A Los Angeles landlord required tenants to pay rent online and school officials pried into students' personal lives, spurring lawmakers to act.

by / August 23, 2012
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Two Internet-related measures likely will land soon on California Gov. Jerry Brown's desk, awaiting his signature. One proposal would bar landlords from requiring tenants to pay rent online. The other bill would protect student privacy by limiting access to social networking sites by outside parties.

Sen. Ted Lieu wrote the landlord bill following complaints in Los Angeles when a landlord required the tenants of a 300-unit apartment complex to pay rent online.

"A growing number of landlords are no longer accepting checks or money orders from tenants," Lieu said in a statement. "Many residents of the rent-controlled complexes are elderly, live on fixed incomes and have no computer."

The social media bill was written by Sen. Leland Yee after learning that employers and college officials were seeking access to student Facebook pages to monitor them. Some coaches at the University of California sometimes ask student athletes to add them as friends so the coaches can monitor their activity, a spokesman for the university system said, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Personal information such as religious beliefs and sexual orientation is often posted by students on Facebook and they should not be required to share that information, Yee said. "California is set to end this unacceptable invasion of personal privacy," he said.

Opponents of the bill, which include the California State Sheriffs' Association, said it would limit the power of local law enforcement.

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times' website.