Apple, Google, Facebook to Attend Second Senate Privacy HearingBy CIOinsight | Posted 05-17-2011
Executives from Facebook, Apple and Google are headed to Washington for a second Senate hearing in as many weeks on the issues of consumer privacy and mobility.
The hearing May 19 at 10 a.m. ET, called by Sen. John Rockefeller, D-WV, chairman of the Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance Subcommittee, follows a similar one May 9, in which officials with Apple and Google defended their privacy policies during questioning by skeptical congressmen.
Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs Catherine A. Novelli, and Google Director of Public Policy for the Americas Alan Davidson are expected to speak during the hearing, as is Federal Trade Commission Director David Vladeck and executives from the Association for Competitive Technology and Common Sense Media.
"The hearing will also explore the possible role of the federal government in protecting consumers in the mobile marketplace and promoting their privacy," Rockefeller told the AFP.
Google's Davidson made the trip to Washington only days ago to participate in a subcommittee hearing hosted by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., regarding the location data collection policies of Google and Apple devices. In his written testimony, Davidson emphasized the criticality of users' trust to the success of Google's business model -- a point that may bear repeating at the hearing May 19.
"Without the trust of our users, we simply would not be able to offer these services or platforms because on the Internet, competing services are only one click away," Davison said. "If we fail to offer clear, usable privacy controls, transparency in our privacy practices, and strong security, our users will simply switch to another provider."
On May 13, Facebook introduced new security features meant to assuage the growing concerns over the privacy of information that Facebook users share on the site. Earlier this month, 15 consumer privacy groups filed a complaint with the FTC, saying that Facebook's privacy settings "adversely impact" its users.
For more, read the eWEEK article: Facebook, Apple, Google Called to Washington for Privacy Questioning.