As the home of the largest online and mobile businesses and platforms, and no doubt seeking to maintain the reputation of her state as one of those leading the nation in enactment and enforcement of privacy laws and regulations, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on Thursday announced the formation of a Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit within the Office of the Attorney General.
The unit is intended to enforce laws related to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records and data breaches. "[T]he Privacy Unit will police the privacy practices of individuals and organizations to hold accountable those who misuse technology to invade the privacy of others," Harris said in the press release. The new unit combines various privacy functions of the California Department of Justice and will be part of the eCrime unit established in December 2011; it follows the shutdown of the California Office of Privacy Protection (OPP), which was eliminated in recent budget cuts. The Privacy Enforcement and Protection unit will be staffed with six prosecutors--double the number previously assigned. The former director of the OPP will join to lead the unit's education and outreach efforts.
California has led the nation in many key areas touching upon the privacy and security of consumer data, including:
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