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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock 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 TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE's 2016 campaign, improperly obtained 50 million Facebook users' data.

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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: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Senators press Facebook over user location tracking policies Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant 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 Klobuchar2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock 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.