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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 1999
New Webpage Updates Consumers on Privacy Issues


OLYMPIA - August 18, 1999 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today unveiled a new webpage that is designed to gather citizen comments on consumer privacy issues and provide updates on the work of the Attorney General's Consumer Privacy Workgroup.

In July, Gregoire created the Consumer Privacy Workgroup to examine issues surrounding the collection and distribution of personal consumer information, such as telephone and Social Security numbers, by some businesses. The information often has commercial value beyond the purpose for which it originally was gathered, but selling it to telemarketers and other third parties raises serious privacy concerns.

The privacy workgroup is expected to complete its work by year's end and make recommendations on possible changes in the law to further safeguard consumer privacy.

Besides keeping the public informed on the workgroup's activities, the new webpage explains how members of the public can comment on the privacy issue, either at workgroup public hearings or through e-mail. It also provides a means for consumers to file complaints

with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division if they feel a business has made improper use of their personal information.

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