The newest batch of privacy gaffes by tech companies aren’t just resulting in lawsuits-although it’s become clear, if it wasn’t already, that lawsuits are becoming inevitable consequences of privacy-related headlines. They’re resulting in serious attention on Capitol Hill, and not just from the usual suspects, either. Consider a few recent developments:
» After the major data breach on Sony’s PlayStation Network, some members of Congress most concerned with tech policy are asking to hear more from Sony (NYSE: SNE). As Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told Boradcasting & Cable: “Hackers and data thieves shouldn’t be able to play ‘Grand Theft Info’ with millions of addresses, emails, and other sensitive information, some of which belongs to children.” Markey as well as Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) are calling for hearings on the matter, although since they’re in the minority, they’ll have to find some Republican colleagues who are also interested in the issue to move forward.
» Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has been called to talk about the iPhone tracking file-which the company denies is doing any “tracking,” it just happens to hold a year or so of data about where you’ve been. Jobs said in an interview yesterday the company will be showing up to D.C. Sen. Al Franken, who has been outspoken on the issue of online privacy, has scheduled a hearing for May 10 on the issue of mobile tracking and privacy.
» Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) has said he isn’t going to be satisfied with Apple and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) just showing up and deflecting a few questions about mobile privacy issues. Inslee wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the matter, CNET has reported.