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Top House Republican invites more tech CEOs to testify before Congress

Top House Republican invites more tech CEOs to testify before Congress
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee has issued an open invitation to technology CEOs to testify before his panel as it grapples with questions about consumer protections and data privacy.

Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract Lawmakers urge FCC to assist in effort to rip out, replace suspect network equipment OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (R-Ore.) wrote in an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle that he and his colleagues have more questions for the industry following Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Hillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote MORE’s testimony about its massive data scandal.

“As we in Congress keep learning more about Facebook’s use of personal data, we also want consumers to have the full picture about Google’s advertising model, Twitter’s algorithms, and Apple’s data collection practices,” Walden wrote in the column, published online Monday. “We want to examine how dangerous content continues to exist on YouTube, how Amazon has disrupted the retail industry, how Netflix prioritizes content across networks, and much more.”

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Walden’s committee grilled Zuckerberg for hours last month, after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct political consulting firm, had improperly obtained data on 87 million Facebook users. Lawmakers of both parties floated the idea of increased privacy regulations, and some accused the social network of holding monopoly power.

The Oregon Republican said that he remains skeptical that more regulations will help prevent abuses from Silicon Valley titans.

“Mistakes, abuse and breaches of trust, however, all have real-world implications for hundreds of millions of Americans, and billions of people worldwide,” Walden wrote. “Congress will need the help of the best and brightest in tech to help us strike the right balance to protect consumers while also encouraging innovation and competition.”