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US AGs to Discuss Social Media Privacy 09/26 06:39

US AGs to Discuss Social Media Privacy 09/26 06:39

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A meeting between top state law enforcement officials and 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions about how the government can safeguard the 
privacy of social media users ended Tuesday without a decision on whether to 
investigate.

   The gathering at the Justice Department was scheduled to discuss whether 
tech giants are "stifling the free exchange of ideas" and examine whether they 
"may be hurting competition."

   But California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, says the 
one-hour meeting mainly focused on consumer protection and data privacy issues.

   Attorneys general from Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, 
Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah and Washington, D.C., attended. Five 
other states sent senior deputies.

   Justice Department officials said the meeting "centered on ways the 
Department and state governments can most effectively safeguard consumers using 
online digital platforms."

   Although there wasn't an immediate decision on whether to open an 
investigation, the attorneys general discussed the nuances and interpretation 
of privacy and what might constitute a monopoly in the tech sector, Becerra 
said.

   "The conversation really zeroed in on privacy," he said after the meeting. 
"I think everyone sees the growth of the industry as something that has become 
of interest to regulators and enforcers. How it might apply, that is still the 
open question."

   The Justice Department said it will review the "insight" shared by the 
attorneys general and expects conversations on the topic to continue. 


(KA)