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While supportive, tech companies haggle over federal privacy law

Joe Mont | September 26, 2018

“A decade from now, we may look back and view this past year as a watershed with respect to the issue of consumer data privacy,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, while surveying a row of executives from some of the largest tech companies—AT&T, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Charter Communications.

“The question is no longer whether we need a federal law to protect consumers’ privacy. The question is what shape that law should take.” 

The Senator’s comments were made at a Wednesday hearing, “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy,” which explored the privacy policies of top technology and communications firms, reviewed the current state of consumer data privacy, and explored possible approaches to more effectively safeguarding privacy. 

Thune laid out some recent events to make his case for the sea change in how data privacy is perceived: the massive 2017 Equifax data breach; the Congressional hearing...

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