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US congressman invites Silicon Valley CEOs to testify

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed published May 14, invited CEOs of Apple Inc., Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google, YouTube LLC and Amazon.com Inc. to testify before the committee.

Walden, who questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month regarding the company's mishandling of user data, encouraged major tech companies to accept his invitation to testify before they have a major scandal.

"In the weeks following our hearing with Zuckerberg, a critical question looms: Can the tech industry self-regulate, or does the federal government need to intercede? This committee intends to answer that question, and we'll need to hear directly from the brightest minds in tech to do it," Walden wrote.

Walden said he wants to learn more about Apple's data collecting practices, Twitter's algorithms, Google's advertising model, why dangerous content continues to exist on YouTube, Amazon's retail dominance and how Netflix prioritizes content.

The congressman's comments come amid a string of data privacy scandals that have recently shaken the tech sector, including Facebook's scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and other third-party apps. The tech giant said in March that it had suspended the accounts of British company Strategic Communication Laboratories and Cambridge Analytica, as well as Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, for violating its personal data policies.

Cambridge Analytica announced this month it would shut down and begin insolvency proceedings due to ramifications from the scandal.