The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held its first privacy hearing for the 116th Congress on Wednesday — with witnesses representing tech, retail, media and academia.

Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) opened the hearing noting that “more consumer data than ever before is flowing through the economy.”

“While the benefits of consumer data are immense, so too are the risks,” said Chairman Wicker.

Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) discussed the challenges of developing comprehensive federal privacy legislation.

“If we are going to deliver meaningful privacy and security protection for the deserving American public, then we must think about what this paradigm really looks like in this debate,” said Senator Cantwell.

During the question-and-answer part of the hearing, committee members discussed the importance of including data security as part of the privacy debate and federal privacy legislation.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee also held a consumer privacy hearing this week —with representatives from industry and public interest organizations.

Additional information on the Senate’s recent privacy hearing can be found here.

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