The New Jersey Senate has passed two bills aimed at preventing employers and colleges from seeking access to an employee's or job applicant's social media accounts.

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A bill aimed at colleges and universities passed unanimously and prohibits them from requiring a student or applicant to provide or disclose any user name, password or other means for accessing a personal account through an electronic communications device.

The bill aimed at employers also passed unanimously but must be re-approved by the Assembly since the Senate amended it to exempt law enforcement agencies. Violations would carry fines up to $2,500.

Supporters say the measures update privacy rules that already exist on what employers can ask.

Business groups have pressed for exceptions to investigate claims against employees, such as insider trading or sexual harassment.
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