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EPIC, Consumer Groups Urge Senate Commerce to Invite Privacy Witnesses to Privacy Hearing

EPIC joined a coalition of 28 consumer privacy groups in a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and ranking member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that asked the Senators to include consumer advocates in an upcoming hearing on consumer privacy. At this time, the Committee has invited, AT&T, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Apple and Charter Communications. The consumer privacy groups wrote, "the absence of consumer representatives all but ensures a narrow discussion, focused on policy alternatives favored by business groups." Proposals endorsed by consumers include, "federal baseline legislation, heightened penalties for data breaches, the end of arbitration clauses, the establishment of a privacy agency in the U.S., techniques for data minimization, [and] algorithmic transparency to prevent the secret profiling of American consumers." The groups also noted that a recent Harris survey found that "78 percent of U.S. respondents say a company's ability to keep their data private is 'extremely important,' but only 20 percent 'completely trust' organizations they interact with to maintain the privacy of their data."

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