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Senate Bill Would Regulate Privacy on Facebook, Social Networking Sites

The Senate bill would require websites to remove personal information upon request of users.

A bill introduced by state Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) would regulate privacy on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Introduced last week, the bill would require websites to remove some personal information of users upon their request. Most importantly, parents of children under 18 would also be able to request that their child’s information be taken down.

The bill applies to personal identifying information such as addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers.

According to Corbett’s office, there are no state laws to address such privacy concerns on social networking websites.  

“Unsuspecting children and teenagers are oftentimes prime targets for online predators that use these sites to prey on vulnerable young people,” Corbett said in a statement. “It is important that we partner with social networking providers to ensure that these sites remain safe for all users. Technology should never stand in the way of responsible parenting.”

The bill is supported by some law enforcement officials, both locally and throughout the state.

Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern said Corbett’s bill is “a critical step forward in protecting people’s personal information online.”

This isn’t the first time Corbett has tackled online privacy.

Corbett authored a similar bill in 2011 that failed after heavy lobbying from a coalition that included major online players such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Do you think parents should be able to regulate their child’s privacy online? Tell us in the comments below.

John Stashik April 17, 2013 at 11:26 PM
A politician wants to regulate an Internet business. But why can't people figure it out for themselves? If they're concerned about privacy, DON'T USE THE SITE. That's simple enough. Many similar sites exist and they're all about getting personal information and selling for ad dollars. Are people really that stupid? Apparently.
KB April 19, 2013 at 05:14 AM
As a parent of a boy approaching puberty who Loves everything computer, I welcome the legislation. If is very tough to have to fight the pressure to join these sights and my son wants to be able to communicate with friends and family this way. The government is my ally, not my foe! These sites lobby and they have deep pockets. It seems like they don't care about the kids who might get hurt, just their profits. Thank you Senator Corbett.

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