AGs, Facebook announce online safety campaign

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Apr 15, 2013

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Legal Newsline) -- An association of state attorneys general and Facebook are launching a new consumer education program designed to provide teens and parents with tools and tips to manage their privacy on the popular social media website and the Internet.

The announcement was made Monday morning by National Association of Attorneys General President and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler during his Presidential Initiative Summit on "Privacy in the Digital Age" in National Harbor, Md. The summit runs through Tuesday.

"Teenagers and adults should know there are tools to help protect their online privacy when they go on Facebook and other digital platforms," Gansler said.

"We hope this campaign will encourage consumers to closely manage their privacy and these tools and tips will help provide a safer online experience. Of course, attorneys general will continue to actively protect consumers' online privacy as well."

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement the website was more than happy to team up with the attorneys general.

"At Facebook, we work hard to make sure people understand how to control their information and stay safe online. We're always looking for new partners in that endeavor -- that's why we're thrilled to collaborate with the National Association of Attorneys General," she said.

"We're grateful for Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with him and attorneys general around the country. Together, we hope to ensure that young people make safe, smart and responsible choices online."

State-specific public service announcements, or PSAs, featuring 19 attorneys general and Sandberg will be distributed by Tuesday, according to a NAAG news release.

"What You Can Do to Control Your Information" introduces an Internet safety video answering top questions about privacy, bullying prevention and overall Internet safety.

The PSA, video and a privacy tip sheet will be shared with consumers on Facebook and on participating attorneys general Facebook pages and office websites.

The summit is covering the latest legal and policy ground.

Prominent speakers are expected to address topics ranging from cyber security to data mining to children's online privacy to government responses and market solutions to Internet privacy challenges.

"State laws need to be updated to reflect our modern era in which the very nature of privacy and personal information is changing," Gansler said.

"Attorneys general have before us an extraordinary opportunity to reorient our enforcement and advocacy efforts toward the unique privacy challenges posed by the digital economy."

A copy of the agenda, as well as video of the sessions and meeting materials presented over the next two days, can be found on the NAAG website.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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