After avoiding Congress for years, tech companies are now asking for help

Apple, Amazon, Twitter to testify before Senate on data privacy

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.’

‘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,’ Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota who chairs the committee, said in a statement.

 After avoiding Congress for years, tech companies are now asking for help

Among the tech executives summoned:

  • 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, while Charter confirmed that Welch will attend. 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.

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

Tech executives have been beating a path to DC this year as Congress increasingly expresses interest in how social media companies work and data privacy is secured. In April, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg went before Congress, and last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made their way to Capitol Hill. The executives answered questions on topics ranging from election meddling to the potential silencing of conservative voices on social media.

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