Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will head a newly formed Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, according to an announcement from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Franken to lead Senate privacy and tech subcommittee
The subcommittee's duties will include "oversight of laws and policies governing the collection, protection, use and dissemination of commercial information by the private sector, including online behavioral advertising, privacy within social-networking websites and other online privacy issues," according to the news release.
The members also will be charged with evaluating the privacy implications of new technologies.
The subcommittee's ranking member is Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Other members include Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), brother of outgoing National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. David Blumenthal.
Franken has been an advocate for privacy and security issues in the past. In a statement, he said the rapid technological developments of the past few years have put an "unprecedented amount of personal information into the hands of large companies that are unknown and unaccountable to the American public."
"As chairman of this new subcommittee, I will try to make sure that we can reap the rewards of new technology while also protecting Americans' right to privacy," Franken said in the statement.
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