Apple, Amazon, Google, others called to testify on consumer privacy protections

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Martin Falbisoner

The US government has called six tech companies to testify in front of the Senate about the privacy protections they deploy to safeguard consumer data and their privacy.

The six companies asked to attend are Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Charter, Google, and Twitter. Social media giant Facebook was not on the list, but the company has recently faced at least two Senate hearings --one for the massive Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, and a second, together with Twitter, on foreign political influence campaigns in the US carried out via social media.

The meeting will take place on September 26, two weeks from now, and the companies, if they decide to attend, will answer questions from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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US Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Committee's chairman, said the companies would have to "explain their approaches to privacy," but also how they plan to address the GDPR privacy legislation that recently went into effect in the European Union, but also the privacy law recently approved in the state of California.

"Consumers deserve clear answers and standards on data privacy protection," said Thune.

The Committee will also take suggestions from the six companies on "what Congress can do to promote clear privacy expectations without hurting innovation."

Companies are not legally required to attend these meetings. Google had been called to answer questions in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the start of the month, together with Facebook and Twitter, but declined.

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