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Senate to hold hearing on potential privacy bill

The Senate will hold a hearing later this month on establishing federal internet privacy regulations, an early step towards the nation’s first comprehensive consumer privacy law.

Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, announced on Friday that the panel would hold a hearing titled “Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States” on February 27.

In a statement, Wicker said the hearing would be the first step towards bipartisan legislation.

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“In an age of rapid innovation in technology, consumers need transparency in how their data is collected and used,” he said. “It is this committee’s responsibility and obligation to develop a federal privacy standard to protect consumers without stifling innovation, investment, or competition.”

No witnesses have been announced for the hearing.

Lawmakers of both parties have called for a new privacy bill following data scandals at major technology companies in the past year. And a major privacy law in California has industry lobbyists calling on Congress to pass a federal standard that would prevent states from implementing their own data laws.

The committee held privacy hearings with both industry and consumer advocates last year, but the Feb. 27 meeting will be the first in the new Congress.