2018-09-25

US Senate Hearing To Examine Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy

What is the impact of digital privacy regulation on the tech industry?

TheAtlantic.com video above published Sep 14, 2018: Victoria Espinel, President, BSA | The Software Alliance, Michael Beckerman, CEO, The Internet Association and Dean Garfield, President and CEO, Internet Technology Industry Council. The panelists weigh in on adapting to regulation, the social impact of technology, and innovation.

Experts in digital privacy and protection weigh in on the current landscape

TheAtlantic.com video above published Sep 14, 2018: Harriet Pearson, Partner, Hogan Lovells, Bruce Schneier, Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University and Ari Waldman, Professor of Law and Director, Innovation Center for Law and Society, New York Law School share their thoughts on the importance of emphasizing innovation, risks of data collection and consumer rights. More info: protectingprivacy.theatlantic.com.

US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing: Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy: U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a full committee hearing titled “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy” at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018. LIVE video of the hearing will be available on commerce.senate.gov.

The hearing will examine privacy policies of top technology and communications firms, review the current state of consumer data privacy, and offer members the opportunity to discuss possible approaches to safeguarding privacy more effectively.
“Consumers deserve clear answers and standards on data privacy protection. 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”--Senator Thune.
Witnesses:
  • Mr. Len Cali, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, AT&T Inc.
  • Mr. Andrew DeVore, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Mr. Keith Enright, Chief Privacy Officer, Google LLC
  • Mr. Damian Kieran, Global Data Protection Officer and Associate Legal Director, Twitter, Inc.
  • Mr. Guy (Bud) Tribble, Vice President for Software Technology, Apple Inc.
  • Ms. Rachel Welch, Senior VP, Policy & External Affairs, Charter Communications, Inc.
*Witness list subject to change (source).
Twitter: @SenateCommerce

Background:
The European Union's sweeping privacy law known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, became enforceable May 25, 2018, requiring websites to be more transparent about how they handle personal data and giving users more control over what companies can do with their information. A month later, California passed the United States' toughest data privacy law to date in an effort to head off an even stricter ballot initiative. The new California law does not go into effect until 2020, setting off a push in the tech industry for national privacy standards that would prevent (preempt) states from enforcing their own rules.
EFF.org: "The Senate Commerce Committee is getting ready to host a much-anticipated hearing on consumer privacy—and consumer privacy groups don’t get a seat at the table. Instead, the Committee is seeking only the testimony of big tech and Internet access corporations: Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Charter Communications, Google, and Twitter. Some of these companies have spent heavily to oppose consumer privacy legislation and have never supported consumer privacy laws. They know policymakers are considering new privacy protections, and are likely to view this hearing as a chance to encourage Congress to adopt the weakest privacy protections possible—and eviscerate stronger state protections at the same time. It is no coincidence that, in the past week, two leading industry groups (the Chamber of Commerceand the Internet Association) have called for federal preemption of state data privacy laws in exchange for weaker federal protections. For example, laws in California and Illinois require companies to have user consent to certain uses of their personal information (Nevada and Minnesota have these requirements for Internet access providers), while the industry proposals would only require transparency. That means that companies would be allowed to collect information without your permission as long as they tell you they’re doing it. The upcoming hearing at the Senate Commerce Committee may be the launch pad for this strategy of undoing stronger state laws ..."
See also:
  • Google releases framework to guide data privacy legislation--TheHill.com

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