MeriTalk News Briefs: E&C Asks For ABCs on Data Collection, Rep. Matsui Hires New CoS, FTC CoS Joins NCTA

Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

House E&C Asks Alphabet, Apple About Data Collection Practices

Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee including Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., sent July 9 letters to the chief executive officers of Apple and Alphabet asking them to provide briefings to the committee on a range of questions related to the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices, particularly regarding the collection and use of consumer data and microphone functionality. “Recent reports have indicated that consumer data gathered through cell phones, including location information and recordings of users, may be used in ways that consumers do not expect,” the committee leaders said, adding they want to know whether any of those recent reports “apply to Apple products,” and whether Google can assist the committee members “in understanding the accuracy of these reports.”

VMware’s Kyle Victor Joins Rep. Doris Matsui’s Office

Kyle Victor returns to the Federal payroll after a stint at VMware. Victor has rejoined the office of Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., as her chief of staff. Victor previously worked in her office for eight years, including as her legislative director from 2011 through 2015. After leaving her office, Victor joined the private sector as VMware’s director of public policy. “I’m thrilled to have Kyle return to our office as chief of staff,” Matsui said in a statement. “His institutional knowledge, policy expertise, and management experience will be invaluable as we continue to advance a wide-range of policy issues on the Energy & Commerce Committee.”

NCTA Hires Former FTC Chief of Staff

Svetlana Gans has joined NCTA – The Internet & Television Association as its vice president and associate general counsel, according to an NCTA announcement yesterday. Gans previously served as chief of staff for the Federal Trade Commission under Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. According to NCTA, Gans’ portfolio will include consumer protection and competition policy issues.

Timehop Says Breach Impacted 21M Users

Timehop, maker of a smartphone app that gathers users’ previous social media posts, said on July 8 that it suffered a network breach on July 4 that included breaches of data on about 21 million users of the app.  Breached data included names, email addresses, and some phone numbers, but no financial data, social media or photo content, or private and direct messages, the company said.

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