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University of Baltimore Law Forum

Abstract

This year marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Wide Web (“Web”), and more than 81% of Americans are now using the internet on a regular basis. Yet, despite the fact that key pieces of personally identifying information—name, address, phone number, email address, and birthday—and sensitive personal data—political opinions, racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, and health—can be learned through tracking an individual’s online activity, there continues to be a void of federal legislation protecting the privacy of internet users. In the absence of federal action, state legislatures are tasked with regulating electronic surveillance by both private companies and the government itself, as well as establishing an expectation of privacy in the evolving digital landscape that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable.

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