Lawmakers in Maryland have passed a bill (S.B. 374) requiring the Office of the Attorney General to assemble and direct a workgroup to explore issues relating to the protection of children’s online privacy. The legislation requires that the workgroup include state government representatives, industry leaders, children’s online privacy experts, and consumer and children’s health advocates.

Among other things, the workgroup will examine (i) the nature and extent of data collected about children through Internet–based and mobile application– based advertising; (ii) “current and forthcoming federal and state regulation of children’s online privacy and online advertising and associated data collection”; (iii) the effects on children of online advertising; and (iv) best practices to protect children’s online privacy. The law takes effect on June 1, 2013, and requires that the Attorney General’s Office report findings and recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee by December 31.