Republican senator Orrin Hatch, then 84 years old, asked how Facebook could make any money by offering a free service.Above all, they’ve tried to browbeat the companies into adopting better policies around things like fact-checking, content moderation, and political ads.
HARRISBURG – As a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) is introducing a measure calling upon the federal government to temporarily suspend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
As Mark Zuckerberg testified about all things Facebook on the House side of the Capitol last week, over on the Senate side some lawmakers were debating whether CEOs like Zuckerberg should face jail time if their companies misuse people’s personal data.“You know, my sense is that Mark Zuckerberg is not going to take American’s privacy seriously unless he and others in these positions face personal consequences,” senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told WIRED in his Capitol Hill office.
Senate Republicans have a new plan for preventing mass shootings: require public schools to use surveillance technology to monitor students’ online behavior for signs of violence or self-harm.
A rule such as the regulation Gardner proposes would close the gap that, for example, led owners of Nest Secure devices to the unpleasant discovery earlier this year that the products had shipped with undisclosed microphones.
Even though the program in question – Section 702 – is specifically designed only to be used for US government agencies to be allowed to search for evidence of foreign intelligence threats, the FBI gave itself carte blanche to search the same database for US citizens by stringing together a series of ridiculous legal justifications about data being captured “incidentally” and subsequent queries of that data not requiring a warrant because it had already been gathered.
Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said that Departments of Motor Vehicles should not profit from drivers' personal information after a Motherboard investigation found DMVs across the country selling data to a wide array of companies, including private investigators.
U.S Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), in an interview with Willamette Week, suggested that Mark Zuckerberg should face a prison term for lying to American citizens about Facebook's privacy lapses."Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly lied to the American people about privacy," Senator Wyden said in the interview.
Read: Alexa Is Listening All The Time: Here's How To Stop It. Last week, various articles reported that Amazon responded to a letter sent by Senator Christopher Coons in late May, confirming that it maintains Alexa recordings indefinitely (unless a user manually comes in and deletes them).
That, as The New York Times’ Mike Isaac points out, is the real story here: the United States government spent months coming up with a punishment for Facebook’s long list of privacy-related bad behavior, and the best it could do was so weak that Facebook’s stock price went up.
Thankfully, Senate Judiciary Committee members voted down A.B. 873, which privacy advocates opposed because it would have weakened the definition of “personal information” and undermined critical privacy protections in the CCPA.
At a preliminary U.S. Senate hearing today on the subject of potentially putting legislative limits on the persuasiveness of technology - a diplomatic way of saying the addiction model the internet uses to keep people engaged and clicking - Tristan Harris, the executive director of the Center for Humane Technology, told lawmakers that while rules are important, what needs to come first is public awareness.
Where the Warner/Fischer bill looks to alleviate the harmful effects of data collection on consumers, Senator Josh Hawley’s Do Not Track Act seeks to stop the problem much closer to the source, by creating a Do Not Track system administered by the Federal Trade Commission.
A state bill that would give consumers the right to sue companies that violate their personal information is being stonewalled via closed-door meetings between tech lobbyists and state lawmakers. California state bill SB 561 would give consumers the right to sue companies that violate their personal information.
But earlier this year, Republican congressional national security adviser Luke Murry revealed that due to compliance and technical issues, the NSA hadn't even been using the system for the previous six months, calling into question the NSA's previous insistence that such data collection is vital to national security.
Dylan Gilbert, a policy fellow at the nonprofit Public Knowledge, said that "Senator Markey's Privacy Bill of Rights Act sets a strong, rights-based standard for consumer privacy protection under federal law that goes beyond mere notice and choice.".
It’s clear after this hearing that companies who deliberately over-collect data and sidestep user privacy are making a business choice, and they could choose to operate differently. Freshman Sen. Josh Hawley asked DeVries whether users can fully turn off all Google’s location tracking services on their Android phones.
REUTERS/Aly Song “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained documents showing how Immigration and Customs Enforcement has gained access to a vast surveillance database of billions of records on vehicle locations and is using the data to track down undocumented immigrants.
In a letter signed by Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, the senators ask Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to provide an annual report on the number of times Senate computers have been hacked, and incidents where hackers were able to access sensitive Senate data.
Democrats in the House and Senate introduced companions bills aimed at reinstating the Obama-era net neutrality rules that prohibited broadband providers from blocking or throttling websites or offering preferred businesses higher-quality service for additional fees.
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo The bill mirrors an effort last year to reverse the FCC’s December 2017 order repealing landmark rules approved in 2015 that barred internet providers from blocking or slowing content or offering paid “fast lanes.” “It is a fight that we can win,” said Senator Ed Markey, a bill sponsor, at a Capitol Hill news conference.
The next day Wicker’s committee will hold its first hearing of the new Congress on crafting comprehensive data privacy legislation — a key issue for the telecom industry." The fact that a huge swath of folks don't see a problem here speaks to how Sisyphean the effort for meaningful privacy rules is going to be.
Most significantly, tech companies themselves have been lobbying Congress to pass national legislation that would override an emerging patchwork of state privacy laws – particularly new rules set to take effect in California next year that would give the state’s attorney-general broad powers to police Silicon Valley.
"That was an error on our part." Read more: Google says the built-in microphone it never told Nest users about was 'never supposed to be a secret' Warner said that federal hearings may need to take place to bring more answers to consumer questions about their smart home devices.
“Providing more authority and resources to the US Federal Trade Commission is a critical foundation for robust privacy protection.” The bill’s eye-popping penalties are reserved for large companies and wouldn’t apply to privacy violations themselves.
"Nonetheless, we are reviewing these issues carefully to ensure the proper handling of all AT&T customer information." And T-Mobile US's Legere told Senator Wyden to his face that he would end the practice of selling location data through third parties.