Senate calls on Google, Amazon, Twitter for data privacy hearing

The tech industry could be headed back to DC in September. 


Congress isn’t done with Silicon Valley yet.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is set to hold a hearing on Sept. 26 called “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy.”

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“This hearing will provide leading technology companies and internet service providers an opportunity to explain their approaches to privacy, how they plan to address new requirements from the European Union and California, and what Congress can do to promote clear privacy expectations without hurting innovation,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the committee’s chairman, in a statement. 

Representatives from various tech companies were summoned, including:

  • Len Cali, senior vice president for global public policy at AT&T
  • Andrew DeVore, vice president and associate general counsel at Amazon
  • Keith Enright, chief privacy officer at Google
  • Damian Kieran, global data protection officer and associate legal director at Twitter
  • Guy (Bud) Tribble, vice president for software technology at Apple
  • Rachel Welch, senior vice president for policy and external affairs at Charter Communications

Twitter confirmed that Kieran will be attending the hearing. AT&T said it looked forward to participating. 

“We have long supported federal legislation to protect consumer privacy through a clear and consistent set of safeguards that apply equally to all platforms,” said AT&T spokesman Jim Greer in an emailed statement.

Amazon, Google and Charter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple declined to comment. 

So far in 2018, we’ve seen Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg go before Congress in April, and last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also made their way to Capitol Hill to answer questions from lawmakers on topics from election meddling to the potential silencing of conservative voices on social media.

First published Sept. 12, 7:26 a.m. PT.
Update, 8:18 a.m. PT: Adds responses from Apple and AT&T.

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