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Privacy Loss to Combat Cyber Bullying
By: Jessica Cherok
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The State of Illinois has taken steps to handle cases of cyber bullying a lot more seriously. The state just passed legislation this January requiring that those suspected or accused of cyber bullying turn over the passwords to their social profiles. 

The law also now includes social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others where the bullying occurs, even if it does not happen on school grounds.

Specifically, the law says school administrators may require passwords if “they have reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that a student has violated a school disciplinary rule or procedure.”

Schools have had to notify parents of the change in policy, and not all of the students' parents have been happy about it. Some feel that it goes too far and violates their children’s right to privacy. However, privacy rights among minors, especially in a school setting, are murky at best. Any privacy rights the students may have would end up being waived by their violation of schools’ policies against bullying.

For more information about the cyber bullying laws in your state, visit www.stopbullying.gov for an overview of the different laws and policies that may affect you.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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