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June 21, 2011 > Corbett calls for summit on Internet privacy

Corbett calls for summit on Internet privacy

Submitted By the Office of Senator Ellen M. Corbett

After groundbreaking legislation designed to protect people's private information on social networking sites failed by two votes to clear the Senate on June 2, Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) vowed to continue working on the issue and organize a summit on internet privacy dangers.

Senate Bill 242 would have required social networking sites to set their default settings to private to protect users' personal information. However, users would have the option of changing their account settings to share as much information as they like.

The bill would also have allowed users to request that their personal information be removed from a social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, for themselves or their children.

"I feel terrible for children, their parents and the many others who are at risk of being victims of identity theft or other criminal activity because their private information falls into the wrong hands," Corbett said. "It is clear to me that everyone, especially children, who uses social networking sites needs better protection for their personal information."

Corbett has received letters and emails of encouragement from across the country. Correspondences and recent surveys confirm that a growing number of Americans are alarmed about the lack of protection of their personal information on the internet.

Although federal law prohibits children under the age of 13 from using social networking sites, more than 7.5 million children under the age of 13 have Facebook accounts, according to Consumer Reports magazine. Children are particularly vulnerable because they are often completely unaware that sharing personal information over the internet can make them targets for identity theft, financial scams or molestation.

For more information, visit Senator Corbett's web site at www.sen.ca.gov/corbett

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