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    Washington Post: Maryland attorney general launches Internet Privacy Unit

    The Washington Post reports on a new state office for privacy protection in Maryland:

    The Maryland attorney general’s office on Monday launched a new Internet Privacy Unit designed to address the problem of privacy in the Internet age and to update “gaps” in companies’ online privacy policies.

    The unit will also handle issues related to cyberbullying and cybersecurity, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) said in an interview. […]

    Online crime has become a serious issue in Maryland. In 2011, Maryland ranked seventh out of 50 states in reported incidents of Internet crime on a per capita basis, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. By comparison, the District ranked second and Virginia ranked ninth.

    Although crime is an issue, Gansler said, the new unit “isn’t actually under a criminal rubric. This is about the information you’re putting online — to whom it’s being disseminated, to who your information is being sold to, for commercial gain.”

    The unit will also attempt to develop better ways to enforce the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which prevents most companies from collecting personal information from children younger than 13.

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