Debunking the Privacy Fallacies

This is the first in a series of articles about privacy-related issues that may be of interest to state attorneys general. When I was in law school, “privacy law” wasn’t really discussed. Today, it seems like all anyone can talk about. That might be because I work on privacy and data security matters for the…

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NAAG Supports Senate Hearings on Social Media and Mental Health

As enforcers of our jurisdictions’ consumer protection laws, we find it deeply troubling that Facebook and other social media platforms seek to increase user engagement by conscripting our nation’s youth despite known harms to children and adolescents.

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Press Invited to Attend Conference on the Surveillance Economy

WHO: The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is hosting the conference in conjunction with Vermont Attorney General and NAAG Eastern Region Chair T.J. Donovan. Attorneys general scheduled to speak include: William Tong, Connecticut Attorney General and NAAG Eastern Region Co-Vice Chair Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General and NAAG President Maura Healey,…

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Improving Cybersecurity By Applying Consumer Protection Laws to Software

When a plane crashes because its aircraft control software has been incorrectly coded, the software manufacturer may be liable for damages. However, when a computer software application is incorrectly coded, leading to a major cyber-attack and interruption of international commerce, the vendor company which created the software almost never incurs liability. Why? Would amending consumer…

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NAAG Urges Facebook to Abandon Plans to Develop Instagram Kids

It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account. In short, an Instagram platform for young children is harmful for myriad reasons. The attorneys general urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch this new platform.

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Attorneys General Ask Apple and Google to Ensure All Contact Tracing Apps Serve a Public Health Purpose

Digital contact tracing may provide a valuable tool to understand the spread of COVID-19 and assist the public health response to the pandemic. However, such technology also poses a risk to consumers’ personally identifiable information, including sensitive health information, that could continue long after the present public health emergency ends.

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AGs Demand Answers from Facebook

As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we place a priority on protecting user privacy, which has been repeatedly placed at risk because of businesses’ failure to properly ensure those protections.

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Social Security Administration Should Implement New Database

Consumers in our respective jurisdictions continue to contact us about the growing problem of identity fraud. The fraud comes in various forms and causes various harms, including monetary loss, damage to credit score, and detriment to personal security. As both law enforcement officials and advisors to government agencies, we know the challenges of keeping government systems a step ahead of fraudulent actors. Although the challenge may be great, we urge you to prioritize making your systems as nimble and strong as possible to combat this growing problem.

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State AGs Endorse CLOUD Act

The Act both confirms law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-caused-based warrants for electronic communications stored abroad and creates a clear avenue for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant that targets a foreign person and which would require a provider to violate foreign law.

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State AGs Support Amendment to Communications Decency Act

In 2013 and again in 2017, Attorneys General from virtually every state and territory wrote to inform Congress of a damaging misinterpretation and misapplication of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) that rendered state and local authorities unable to enforce criminal laws against companies that actively profited from the promotion and facilitation of sex trafficking and crimes against children. To be sure, we are grateful for all the work you have done to protect the vulnerable among us. To bootstrap your efforts, we renew our recommendation for a modest but necessary amendment to the CDA. We must enable our state and local authorities to protect our citizens, including the most vulnerable among us, and to take appropriate action against criminal actors.

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