Capitol Hill Roundup

By Steve Brachmann
October 8, 2018

This week on Capitol Hill is another light one in terms of hearings focusing on topics related to technology and innovation. Although the House of Representatives is in session all week after the Columbus Day holiday, there are no hearings scheduled for the week as of Sunday,  and the House is about to enter a few weeks’ worth of district work periods. In the Senate, the Commerce Committee convenes a hearing to look at recent consumer data privacy laws passed in Europe and California, and the Banking Committee explores the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the national financial system.

Wednesday, October 10th

Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, & Transportation – Consumer Data Privacy: Examining Lessons From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 253 Russell Senate Office Building. This May, the European Union enacted a new law designed to create stronger regulations for the protection of data generated by citizens of EU member states including new rights for data erasure, data portability and a requirement that a company obtain explicit consent from a user before collecting personal data. Then in June, the state legislature of California passed a new Consumer Privacy Act which affords data privacy rights to Californians which are similar to those enacted by the EU. This hearing will examine both of these new laws and feature discussion from privacy advocates on possible consumer protections to consider in future federal legislation. The hearing’s witness panel includes Dr. Andrea Jelinek, Chair, European Data Protection Board; Alastair Mactaggart, Board Chair Californians for Consumer Privacy; Laura Moy, Executive Director and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology; and Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology.

Thursday, October 11th

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The distributed ledger technology known as blockchain has received a great deal of attention in recent years as it has the potential to revolutionize many transactional systems in place across the world’s economy, from methods of payment to rights management to supply chain management and more. Although the most well-known form of cryptocurrency using the blockchain platform is bitcoin, thousands of altcoin cryptocurrencies have been developed. The witness panel for this hearing includes Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University Stern School of Business; and Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research, Coin Center.

The Author

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun,,, Motley Fool and Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients and is available for research projects and freelance work.

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Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. Paul Morinville October 8, 2018 12:37 pm

    Invalidated, the Shredding of the US Patent System will be shown on Tuesday at 2:30 at 2247 Rayburn House Office Building..

  2. anonymous October 9, 2018 12:17 am

    Who is the intended audience for Invalidated on Tuesday?

  3. Paul Morinville October 9, 2018 2:26 am

    Anyone who wants to go. There will seMembers and staff attending