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ICYMI: Walden Releases Op-Ed Announcing Hearings on Tech Companies Affecting Consumer Privacy and Choice


10.27.17

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) published an op-ed today announcing a series of hearings surrounding tech business practices and their impact on consumers. In the piece, Walden raises questions about how actions taken by tech companies and online businesses affect consumer privacy and choice.

Recode: Facebook, Google and Twitter might face yet another grilling by U.S. lawmakers angry about their algorithms

U.S. lawmakers might not be finished with companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter: A congressional panel plans to probe the algorithms that power news feeds, search results and other online platforms and services at a hearing now slated for next month.

The new scrutiny comes from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the country’s tech and telecom giants — and it’s one of two hearings that it has scheduled as it eyes issues like “bias,” consumer choice, privacy and data security.

To panel lawmakers, including Republican Chairman Greg Walden, the concerns are manifest. As tech giants like Amazon and Facebook siphon up more information about their users, there are lingering doubts about “what happens to their information, and who has access to it,” Walden said in a Medium post shared early with Recode.

Click here to read the full article online.

Variety: Major internet firms face more congressional hearings

Major internet firms, already poised to testify at hearings next week on Russian interference in the 2016 election, are facing more congressional scrutiny in November on consumer privacy, security, news flow, and even how Google and other search engines set their algorithms.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote in an op-ed on Friday that “these hearings are just the start of a long-term, thoughtful, and research-focused approach to better illuminate how Americans’ data is being used online, how to ensure that data is safe, and how information is being filtered to consumers over the web.”

Click here to read the full article online.

Engadget: Tech companies face scrutiny from Congress over data sharing

Facebook, Twitter, Google and other tech companies are about to face some close scrutiny from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight over the tech and telecom industries. According to Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), it’s all in the name of consumer protection. Hearings are currently scheduled for November, but Walden sees this as a long-term process.

Specifically, the committee is interested in how exactly these companies’ algorithms work, and how they protect privacy. “We will be taking a more expansive look at the online experience to ensure safety, security, and an unfiltered flow of information,” said Walden in a post on Medium. The end goal is to give consumers more understanding of and power over how companies use their personal information.

Click here to read the full article online.

The Hill: Top Republican promises to scrutinize tech’s data practices

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the powerful House Commerce Committee, is promising to scrutinize tech companies’ data practices as online giants are facing mounting questions about their handling of consumer information.

In a blog post on Friday, Walden said that his panel would be holding two separate hearings in the coming months to examine internet platforms’ algorithms and identity verification procedures.

“We want all Americans to have a better understanding of how their data flows online,” Walden wrote.

Click here to read the full article online.

POLITICO Pro: Walden plans November E&C hearings on tech algorithms, ID verification

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will dig into tech industry advertising, algorithms and data flows in a pair of hearings slated for the end of November, a committee aide said today.

“We want all Americans to have a better understanding of how their data flows online,” E&C Chairman Greg Walden said in a Medium post announcing the new areas of inquiry. “Adding to the confusion, the extent of and methods by which information is collected and used by companies can vary widely depending on their business model. When a student orders textbooks on Amazon, or a grandmother uses Facebook to connect with family, what happens to their information, and who has access to it?”

Click here to read the full article online.

To read Walden’s op-ed, titled “Consumer Protection in the 21st Century,” click here.

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