Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Witnesses - Dr. Ellen Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Former NASA Chief Scientist | Dr. Peggy A. Whitson, Technical Consultant and Former Astronaut | Mr. Frank A. Rose, Senior Fellow, Security and Strategy, The Brookings Institution, Former Assistant Secretary of State
A top Google executive faced tough questions from a Senate committee on Tuesday about the company's data collection practices as lawmakers vow to impose tougher privacy regulations on tech giants. The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Will DeVries, senior policy counsel at Google, over the company’s user location tracking and data practices.
A bipartisan pair of senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prevent tech companies from amassing personal information about teenagers without their consent. The bill, introduced by outspoken tech critics Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would prevent internet companies from targeting ads toward children and require the companies to provide more insight into how they collect and use children's data.
The bill instructs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to more equitably allocate funding for research with a focus on early childhood. The bill also directs NSF to support research on the factors that discourage or encourage girls to engage in STEM activities, including computer science. The Building Blocks of STEM Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill, introduced jointly by Congresswoman Stevens and Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) in the House of Representatives, alongside U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in the Senate.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday unveiled legislation that would create cybersecurity standards for internet-connected devices, often known as the “internet of things.” The bill, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and in the House by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), would require established standards for government use of the devices.
Congressional lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would re-instate open internet protections, known as net neutrality, nationwide and allow states to continue enforcing their own laws. The two-page “Save the Internet Act” would undo the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 vote to repeal net neutrality, a policy that required internet providers to treat all traffic the same, without speeding or slowing service to some sites over others.
Lawmakers have expressed concerns about the lack of diversity at tech companies, the use of facial recognition technology, discriminatory ads, the lack of rules for handling sensitive race data and how biased algorithms can lead to discrimination. “Tools like algorithms are being used to make decisions, like who gets a job or a loan, that deeply affect people’s lives,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who is chairing the hearing, said in a joint statement.
Lawmakers slammed tech industry representatives at a hearing Wednesday as Congress begins work on drafting a federal privacy law. The Senate Commerce Committee held its first data privacy hearing this year, with lawmakers questioning the industry's support for sweeping federal privacy standards.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday announced the launch of a task force aimed at monitoring competition among the country's tech companies. The task force, which will consist of current officials with the FTC's Bureau of Competition including 17 staff attorneys, will work to "identify and investigate potential anticompetitive conduct," the bureau's director, Bruce Hoffman, told reporters.
With less than two days to go before the US government runs out of money, lawmakers in Congress are scrambling to pass a budget deal that would give small increases to NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many other science agencies.