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Silicon Valley

Democrats promise to get tough on big tech—and they’re starting with privacy

February 27, 2019

Democrats in Congress have kicked off a campaign to increase official oversight of the big technology companies, the Washington Post reports.

Hearings: Yesterday saw the first big tech policy hearing since Democrats took control of the House at the start of the year. The Energy and Commerce Committee heard from witnesses on the topic of “protecting consumer privacy in the era of big data.” Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. said that “it’s time that we move past the old model that protects the companies using our data and not the people,” according to the Post.

Legislation likely: After years of inaction, there are now growing calls across the political divide to implement tougher federal laws to protect users’ privacy online, in the wake of seemingly never-ending scandals. It feels like just a matter of time until there’s some concrete action.

For example: In separate news this week, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a task force dedicated to looking at competition within the tech sector. It will be staffed by 17 lawyers. And the FTC witnessed a milestone yesterday, settling its first action against a marketer who paid people to write fake reviews on Amazon.

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