(Washington, DC)  —  Executives of Facebook and Google are getting heat over privacy and competition.  During a Senate hearing, Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin criticized data collection practices and said big tech companies are making money off the private information of users.  Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar [[ KLO-buh-shar ]] said, “We are the product” and argued the gathering of “big data” is increasingly intrusive.  Utah Republican Mike Lee cited a growing threat of unauthorized exposure of private information.  He said Congress needs to “catch up.”

 

Facebook VP Steve Satterfield testified data is critically important in improving products, integrity and online security.  He insisted Facebook works around the clock to protect users’ private information.  Google VP Markham Erickson noted advertising is his company’s primary source of revenue and defended the practice of linking consumers to advertisers.  He said Google is constantly striving to improve privacy standards.