- Associated Press - Saturday, December 15, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A new legislative commission is studying online privacy protection.

Democratic Rep. Evan Shanley was elected chairman of the 11-member Rhode Island Online Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Commission. Its inaugural meeting was Tuesday.

The group is charged with recommending legislation and regulations that protect people from disclosures of information. Members face a Feb. 5 deadline.

Shanley says many people don’t realize how much personal information is floating around cyberspace, being sold back and forth by companies. A resolution creating the commission says businesses are collecting personal information, sharing and selling it in ways not properly covered by current law.

The commission includes state lawmakers and experts representing Verizon, the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and TechNet, a web service for information technology professionals.

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