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 WickerWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Senate panel opens investigation of FAA safety inspectors FAA faces questions about Boeing at two hearings 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.