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Senate committee invites Facebook, Twitter and Google CEOs to testify

Senate committee invites Facebook, Twitter and Google CEOs to testify
© Greg Nash

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review MORE (R-Iowa) announced Monday the committee has invited the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in a hearing on data privacy and social media.

The hearing, which is scheduled for April 10, will examine “standards for the collection, retention and dissemination of consumer data for commercial use,” as well as “what steps companies like Facebook can take to better protect personal information of users and ensure more transparency in the process,” according to a press release.

Grassley’s announcement comes in the wake of massive backlash against Facebook over how British research firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE's 2016 campaign, improperly obtained 50 million Facebook users' data.

New revelations over the reach of Facebook’s data, including Android users’ call logs, have also spurred criticism of the company.

Grassley’s call for Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Public funds support proposal to remove Zuckerberg as Facebook chairman Obama responds to several excuses people give for not voting in new video MORE to testify alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai comes after pressure on the matter from other members of the committee, including Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIs there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (D-Minn.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.).

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who also sits on the committee, has said Zuckerberg should be subpoenaed if he does not attend.

Other committees including Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce have invited Zuckerberg to testify before their committees as well. 

The Federal Trade Commission also announced on Monday that it is investigating Facebook’s data collection practices.