California has become the first state to require students on college campuses to receive active consent before all sexual activity. Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed into law a bill that will impose this new standard for consent at all colleges that receive state funding, including all public universities and many private institutions where students receive state grants. Consent can be conveyed by a verbal “yes,” or signaled in a nonverbal way, but lack of resistance or objection cannot constitute consent.

Active Consent Bill Signed in California - NYTimes.com

This decision in California confirms what we have always known: All sound recordings have value, and all artists deserve to be paid fairly for the use of their music,” said Michael Huppe, chief executive of Sound- Exchange, a nonprofit group that collects royalties from digital radio services like Sirius XM and Pandora on behalf of artists and record companies. “It does not — and should not — matter whether those recordings are protected by state or federal law.

Sirius XM Loses Suit on Royalties for Oldies - NYTimes.com

A court of appeals has reversed an earlier court decision that ruled map reading on a cell phone was taboo under the law, according to the Associated Press. The 5th District Court of Appeal said the law currently applies only to talking and texting on mobile devices and doesn’t yet have legal language for app use.

California court: Drivers can use smartphone maps, for now | Mobile - CNET News

The bill would prohibit education-related websites, online services and mobile apps for kindergartners through 12th graders from compiling, using or sharing the personal information of those students in California for any reason other than what the school intended or for product maintenance. The bill would also prohibit the operators of those services from using or disclosing the information of students in the state for commercial purposes like marketing. It would oblige the firms to encrypt students’ data in transit and at rest, and it would require them to delete a student’s record when it is no longer needed for the purpose the school intended. “We don’t want to limit the legitimate use of students’ data by schools or teachers,” Senator Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat who is the sponsor of the bill and the president pro tempore of the California Senate, said in a phone interview. “We just think the public policy of California should be that the information you gather from students should be used for their educational benefit and for nothing else.”

Scrutiny in California for Software in Schools - NYTimes.com

New law lets teens delete digital skeletons

Remember that dance-party photo you regretted posting online? How about the time you over-shared your feelings about your ex or made that comment about Barack Obama?

All forever etched in the annals of the Internet.

Well, maybe not - at least if you’re under 18.

Legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday will require Web companies, starting in 2015, to remove online activity - whether it be scandalous or simply embarrassing - should a minor request it.

» via SFGate

California district hires firm to monitor students' social media

A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.

The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students’ posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year.

Though critics liken the monitoring to government stalking, school officials and their contractor say the purpose is student safety.

» via CNN

The suspicious (which ought, these days, to include most people) might wonder whether these license plates — which very probably will be accessed through a mobile data network — will let the powers that be know where people are, yes, all the time. The bill doesn’t seem clear about this. What is clear is that the company that operates the system will have access to everyone’s location. That company is Smart Plate Mobile, which doesn’t appear to have so much as a Web site currently.

California first to get electronic license plates? Easier to track? | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

California Abruptly Drops Plan to Implant RFID Chips in Driver's Licenses

Following complaints from privacy groups, California lawmakers on Friday suspended legislation to embed radio-frequency identification chips, or RFIDs, in its driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

The legislation, S.B. 397,  was put on hold by the state Assembly Appropriations Committee, despite it having been approved by the California Senate, where it likely will be re-introduced in the coming months. Had the measure passed, it would have transformed the Sunshine State’s standard form of ID into one of the most sophisticated identification documents in the country, mirroring the four other states that have embraced the spy-friendly technology.

» via Wired

University Of California Approves Major Open Access Policy To Make Research Free

Good news for fans of the scientific method: the largest and most influential university system on the planet will be giving out its research for free. After 6-year-long fight with the for-profit academic publishing industry, the University of California Senate approved open access standards for research on all 10 campuses.

The policy is major win for those who want to see academic research made public, rather than behind the pricy paywalls of big publishers. Last year, Harvard Library penned a memo urging the university’s 2,100 faculty to boycott for-profit academic research databases and instead submit articles to lower-cost open access journals.

» via TechCrunch

California Puts MOOC Bill on Ice

Legislation in California originally aimed at getting state colleges to award credit for massive open online courses and other offerings from nonuniversity providers has been shelved for at least a year.

The bill, SB 520, caused a stir when it was introduced, in March, by State Sen. Darrell Steinberg, a powerful Democrat in the California Legislature. Faculty unions strongly opposed it, and later drafts of the bill would give faculty-governance bodies more oversight of what outside courses could count for credit.

Now Mr. Steinberg has shelved the bill. The senator will re-evaluate next summer whether the legislation is still necessary, said Rhys Williams, a spokesman.

» via The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription may be required for some content)