Apr 9, 2020 - Technology

Senate scrutinizes data's role in the coronavirus pandemic

The Senate Commerce Committee will examine how companies and the government are using consumer data in response to the coronavirus pandemic through a so-called paper hearing Thursday.

The big picture: Lawmakers' efforts to pass a bipartisan federal privacy law have stalled, but expect privacy considerations to be a key driver in questions about data use.

"The collection of consumer location data to track the coronavirus, although well intentioned and possibly necessary at this time, further underscores the need for uniform, national privacy legislation."
— Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, in his opening statement.

What's happening: The committee will post testimony on Thursday from witnesses, including Kinsa Smart Thermometers CEO Inder Singh; Stacey Gray, senior counsel for the Future of Privacy Forum; and Dave Grimaldi, Interactive Advertising Bureau's executive vice president for public policy.

  • Lawmakers will have until 6 pm ET to submit questions to the witnesses, who will then respond within 96 business hours.
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