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Politics & Government

DOJ and AG Denn working with state legislators to improve online privacy

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Delaware Public Media
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Attorney General Matt Denn is joining with a group of lawmakers to offer four bills aimed at better protecting Delawareans’ digital privacy.

Denn says its critical his office and the General Assembly address these emerging privacy issues.

“The internet is an area where the state just hasn’t kept up with technology both in terms of protecting safety and also in terms of protecting basic privacy interests. So these bills are an effort to try and catch up to where the technology has gone.”

The first bill is being called the Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act. It would safeguard young people browsing online from inappropriate web ads and require more transparency from internet services about their collection methods and use of personal information.

The other bills would shield victims of sexual assault and domestic violence from having their identities improperly disclosed, offer stronger  protection of student info collected by schools and deny employers the right to require or otherwise improperly access social media accounts of employees or prospective hires.

Denn says they tried make sure these proposals are consistent with laws already on the books in other states.

“If a company is a national company and is having to follow the law already in California or Georgia - just to use examples of two states that have laws in place - then they probably wouldn’t have to change much based on our laws.”

Denn concedes those laws in other states haven’t been around long enough to establish a track record of success, but adds Delaware needs to begin catching up with privacy concerns created by advances in technology.

The bills, which enjoy bipartisan support, will be formally introduced when lawmakers return to Legislative Hall in Dover from their spring break next week.