Delaware Law to Give Students Increased Online Privacy

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Delaware Law to Give Students Increased Online Privacy
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Delaware has become the first state to passed a law banning public and private schools from requiring students to give administration access to social media accounts.

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The bill forbids institutions from requesting students to provide passwords or account information, asking students to log onto a social media site in the presence of a government agent, requiring the installation of a monitoring device that gives the institution access, or requiring students to add an agent to their online contacts.

The bill -- which still needs the governor's signature to be fully enacted -- is a significant move in the long-standing fight for digital privacy, say its advocates.

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"Since schools generally do not have a duty to monitor their students' off campus activities in the real world, they shouldn't have a duty to monitor their students' off campus digital activities," Bradley Shear -- the attorney who helped draft the social media law -- told the .

Shear said he believes schools and employers who require access to social media accounts are in violation of the First Amendment. In turn though, universities and colleges will have a legal liability shield to claims that they must protect or monitor students from any dangerous actions taken on social media sites.

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Other states are debating similar sanctions. California's bill on student's social media privacy recently moved to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and Maryland passed a social media privacy law in the Senate, but it stalled soon after.

The Delaware bill was voted through House without dissent, and passed unanimously in the state Senate.

Do you think schools should be allowed to access to students' social media accounts? Tell us your opinion in the comments.

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This story originally published on Mashable .

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