WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) convened the first Senate Judiciary Committee Tech Task Force to tackle tech industry issues on privacy, data security, censorship, antitrust and competition. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) named Senator Blackburn Chairman of the Tech Task Force, with Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) serving as co-chair.
Today’s Tech Task Force meeting featured privacy experts from four companies with unique access to consumer and business data: Snap Chief Privacy Officer Katherine Tassi, Match Global Head of Privacy Idriss Kechida, Salesforce Global Privacy Officer & Executive Vice President Lindsey Finch, and Mozilla Head of Americas Policy Heather West.
“It is an honor to Chair the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Tech Task Force,” said Senator Blackburn. “This bipartisan group is working to build an institutional knowledge about the technological privacy issues we face in 2019 and how to address them. I’m looking forward to holding our next meeting in the coming weeks, when we will discuss the online climate of competition for companies big and small.”
“Most Americans are unaware of just how much personal data is collected and transmitted by the services and devices we depend on daily,” said Senator Feinstein. “And while the U.S. leads the world in online innovation, we lag many other countries in protecting consumers. That’s why this task force is so necessary. I look forward to exploring these issues with my colleagues and ensuring that consumer protections keep pace with the digital age.”
“I was pleased to hear from four compelling companies about their concerns surrounding privacy regulation and their ideas about how the United States can be competitive and innovative while ensuring the data privacy of our constituents. There are a lot of hard questions to answer in this space, and it’s critical that we figure out how to effectively deal with unforeseen uses of individuals’ personal data. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part in this process and I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senators Blackburn and Feinstein, in moving this taskforce forward,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.)
“Americans urgently want and need strong federal privacy rules to end the intrusive collection and abuse of their most intimate personal data," said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn). "As a member of both the Commerce and Judiciary committees, I’m grateful for every opportunity to benefit from the expertise of my colleagues. The Judiciary Committee has knowledgeable, powerful and relevant voices on tech issues, and it’s important for us to hear from experts and stakeholders as we look for solutions.”
In April, Senator Blackburn introduced the bipartisan BROWSER Act to require communications and technology companies to provide users with clear and conspicuous notice of their privacy policies and the ability to opt-in to the collection of sensitive information and to opt-out of the collection of non-sensitive information.