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North Carolina House Passes Social Media Privacy Bill

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Around 60 percent of Americans use social media. Giving up social media for Lent allows people to disconnect from the virtual world, which is wise to do from time to time to prevent you from being disconnected from the real world. (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Around 60 percent of Americans use social media. Giving up social media for Lent allows people to disconnect from the virtual world, which is wise to do from time to time to prevent you from being disconnected from the real world. (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill forbidding employers and universities from accessing private email or social media accounts of workers and students has passed the North Carolina House.

The bill that passed Thursday prohibits employers and universities from demanding access to the private accounts of applicants, employees and students. The bill provides a number of exceptions, including cases of employer-held devices or accounts and criminal investigations.

The bill’s sponsors said a number of other states have enacted similar bills that help define privacy in the digital age.

Rep. Paul Stam of Apex said he’s worried about the implications for employers who may have good reasons for asking for access to personal accounts.

The bill passed the House 76-36 and will now head to the Senate.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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