Apple, Facebook, Google Before Senate Panel

Commerce Panel to Explore Fed Role in Promoting Mobile Privacy
Apple, Facebook, Google Before Senate Panel
Executives from Apple, Facebook and Google will appear before a Senate panel Thursday to explain their companies' practices on collecting and using customer data from smartphones.

The hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance will focus on industry practices on online mobile data collection and usage as well as consumer rights and expectations.

Apple, Facebook and Google have come under scrutiny because of their privacy policies. On May 10, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing after reports last month that Apple and Google maintained hidden files on their mobile devices that tracked locations visited by users (see Apple, Google Under Fire at Hearing).

The Commerce subcommittee hearing also will explore the possible role of the federal government in protecting consumers in the mobile marketplace and promoting their privacy.

Scheduled to testify Thursday are Catherine Novelli, Apple vice president of worldwide government affairs; Bret Taylor, Facebook chief technology officer; and Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy for the Americas. Other witnesses will be David Vladeck, Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection director; Morgan Reed, Association for Competitive Technology executive director; and Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, Common Sense Media president.

Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, who announced the hearing, has sponsored a number of bills aimed at protecting consumers' privacy, including the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011, which the West Virginia Democrat introduced earlier this month. That bill would provide consumers with the ability to better protect their personal information from being collected and used by online companies (see Bill Aims to Protect Personal Info Online).

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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