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Wednesday October 17th, 2018 10:03AM

The Latest: Tech firms back US privacy law to negate states

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional hearing on privacy (all times local):

Noon

Internet companies are hoping to avoid a patchwork of state laws on consumer data privacy. They are supporting a federal proposal that could negate those state laws, including a recently enacted one in California.

Executives from Google, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and AT&T were asked at a Senate hearing Wednesday if they'd support federal privacy protections that pre-empted "inconsistent" state laws.

All said "yes," with a few qualifications. Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president of software technology, says the bar would have to be "high enough in the federal legislation" to provide meaningful consumer protections.

The Senate Commerce Committee is considering a new national privacy law.

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz says it won't have bipartisan support if it's just to replace California's strict new protections with a "non-progressive federal law."

___

11:05 a.m.

Amazon is warning Congress to avoid California's model as federal lawmakers work on crafting a new consumer data privacy law.

Andrew DeVore, Amazon's vice president and associate general counsel, told a U.S. Senate panel Wednesday it should consider the "possible unintended consequences" of California's approach. For instance, he says the state law defines personal information too broadly such that it could include all data.

California's law will compel companies to tell customers upon request what personal data they've collected, why it was collected and what types of third parties have received it.

The California law doesn't take effect until 2020 and applies only to California consumers, but it could have fallout effects on other states.

He's among executives from companies including Google and Apple testifying to the Senate Commerce Committee about consumer data.

___

10:45 a.m.

A Senate panel is considering ways to govern how companies can use consumer data for targeting ads and other tasks.

Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, said in opening a hearing Wednesday that there's a strong desire by both Republicans and Democrats for a new data privacy law.

Senior executives from AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter and Charter Communications are expected to testify and explain their privacy policies.

Privacy scandals at Facebook and other companies have stoked outrage among users and politicians.

But the approach to privacy legislation being pondered by policymakers and pushed by the internet industry leans toward a relatively light government touch. That's in contrast to stricter EU rules that took effect in May.

___

3 a.m.

A Senate panel Wednesday will consider ways to develop national rules governing how companies can use consumer data to target advertising and for other business purposes.

Executives of a half-dozen internet titans are due to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee to explain their privacy policies. Senior executives from AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter and Charter Communications are expected to testify at the hearing

Privacy scandals at Facebook and other companies have stoked outrage among users and politicians.

But the approach to privacy legislation being pondered by policymakers and pushed by the internet industry leans toward a relatively light government touch.

In April 2017, President Donald Trump scrapped Obama-era privacy rules that sought to limit how broadband providers like AT& T, Comcast and Verizon use and share customer data.

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