Franken Chairs New Senate Tech Subcommittee

by , Feb 14, 2011, 5:13 PM
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AlFranken

Outspoken net neutrality proponent Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will lead a new Senate Judiciary subcommittee for Privacy, Technology and the Law, the committee announced on Monday. 

"The explosion of new technologies and activities online, including social media, has unleashed new questions about how to protect Americans' privacy in the digital age," committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) stated, in announcing the appointment.

Franken added that the tech boom has "put an unprecedented amount of personal information into the hands of large companies that are unknown and unaccountable to the American public."

The subcommittee's jurisdiction will include a host of privacy issues, such as online behavioral advertising and privacy on social networking sites.

Last April, Franken was among four senators who criticized Facebook for launching its "instant personalization" program on an opt-out basis. Facebook's instant personalization sends information about users who are signed in -- including their names -- to outside sites that they visit. Sites participating in the program include Pandora, Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes.

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