Tech companies and politicians meeting in Ottawa to discuss privacy, disinformation

OTTAWA — giants will be in the hot seat this week as from Canada and 10 other countries gather to consider how best to protect citizens' privacy and their democracies in the age of big data.

The international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy is in Ottawa for three days, starting Monday.

It will hear from experts on how best governments can prevent the use of social media to violate individuals' privacy, spread fake news, sow dissension and manipulate election outcomes.

Committee members will also grill representatives from a host of social media giants Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon and Mozilla on what they're doing, or not doing, to prevent abuse.

The grand committee is made up of politicians from Canada, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore.

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