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California sets up privacy enforcement unit

The privacy unit, which will be located in the eCrime Unit, will centralize existing California Justice Department efforts to protect privacy, including enforcing privacy laws, educating consumers, and forming partnerships with industry. The unit will be headed by Joanne McNabb, formerly of the California Office of Privacy Protection, and will be staffed with six prosecutors and other Justice Department personnel, according to a release from the attorney general's office.

The unit will enforce laws regulating the collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction of private or sensitive information by individuals, organizations, and the government. This includes laws relating to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records, and data breaches.

“In the 21st Century, we share and store our most sensitive personal information on phones, computers and even the cloud. It is imperative that consumers are empowered to understand how these innovations use personal information so that we can all make informed choices about what information we want to share”, Harris said.

“The privacy unit will police the privacy practices of individuals and organizations to hold accountable those who misuse technology to invade the privacy of others”, she added.

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