House Schedules Privacy Hearing

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing on data privacy and security, a hot-button issue in Washington these days, and its Democratic chair signaled it will include looking at the "problem after problem" involving Facebook.

The hearing, which was announced by subcommittee chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and parent committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), will be Feb. 26 and it is clear where Democrats are on the issue by the majority's announcement email, calling it a hearing on "the need for comprehensive data privacy and security legislation."

Related: Hill Dems Hammer Facebook Over Alleged Openness of Closed Groups

In a YouTube video on the hearing, Schakowsky said while she knew her audience "loved their devices" she was also sure they wondered what the data companies "are beginning to sweep up" about them. She also talked about breaches and "problem after problem" involving Facebook.

She said the hearing was the beginning of a conversation that would end in legislation, adding that self-regulation "just isn't working."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.