Big Data

Some State AGs Could Launch Joint Inquiries Into Tech Companies

Some state attorneys general are worried about the dominance of the big tech leaders and could launch joint inquiries into the likes of Google and Facebook.

The Wall Street Journal, citing U.S. AGs that attended a meeting hosted by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reported Republican AG Doug Peterson of Nebraska said officials are looking at launching a multistate inquiry into the leading tech companies with an eye toward protecting consumer privacy and looking into antitrust concerns. “There’s certainly enough interest expressed by the attorneys general who were there today, and I think [we] will continue to move forward,” Peterson told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. Given the intense scrutiny the tech giants are already under, a move by the AGs to launch an inquiry would be yet another regulatory battle the big tech companies would have to contend with.

According to the Wall Street Journal, during the meeting of the AGs a lot of the discussions were on the data technology companies collect from users and the transparency of the terms of use. The paper noted that some AGs want to investigate the power of the companies while others are worried about the potential for political bias on the platforms. That didn’t garner as much attention as the other issues during the meeting, noted the report.  The Justice Department told the WSJ it plans to review the information from the meeting and that it “expects this dialogue will continue in the near future.” Nine states’ AGs attended the meeting in person or via phone with five other states sending representatives.  “There are growing concerns that the [tech] sector is moving in spaces that most people couldn’t have thought of or imagined,” Xavier Becerra, California’s Democratic attorney general, said in a meeting with reporters that was covered by the WSJ. “I walked out of that meeting believing there’s reason to continue the conversation.”

 

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