Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) signed data privacy legislation into law, making Virginia the second state in the nation to adopt its own data protection rules. The law, known as the Consumer Data Protection Act, had broad support from the tech industry, including Amazon, which is building an Arlington (VA) headquarters. The legislation will allow residents of the commonwealth to opt out of having their data collected and sold, similar to a California law that went into effect in 2020.
President-elect Joe Biden is set to have a very different relationship with the tech industry from when he served as vice president. Tech companies have grown more powerful over the past four years — and more perilous. They have continued to amass data and wealth. But they have been used as tools for election interference and disinformation, contributing to the divide in the nation.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the incoming Biden administration will face a deadlocked Federal Communications Commission. There are increasing odds that the Biden administration’s FCC initially will have two Democrats and two Republicans — potentially complicating the president-elect's efforts to follow through on some of his key Internet policy promises. The future balance of the agency largely hinges on a Republican push to confirm Trump’s nominee, Nathan Simington, a Commerce Department aide who was very involved with the president’s efforts to crack down on tech companies to add
5G remains a work in progress throughout the United States. Access to 5G networks is limited to a handful of US cities, and in some instances, it’s currently slower than 4G speeds.
Top Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with civil rights leaders June 1 as the company confronts a wave of backlash over its decision not to moderate President Donald Trump's controversial posts. But the roughly hour-long call, intended to show the company takes concerns from the black community seriously, only further inflamed tensions. Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifil and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights chief executive Vanita Gupta immediately blasted Zuckerberg following the call. Robinson
The Government Accountability Office's Science and Technology Assessment and Analytics group, created in 2019, is ramping up its work: It wants to double its current ranks of about 70 people providing technical assessments to Congress on topics such as artificial intelligence in health care or 5G wireless. “At such a time as this, you can't avoid” tech issues, said Tim Persons, GAO's top scientist tasked with leading the group. "There's so much disruption going on and so much potential for good in solving our complex adaptive systems problems of the day.
Over the last decade, lawmakers and regulators slowly woke up to the consequences of the tech industry’s unchecked rise in power. In the 2020s, they'll try to take back control. Here are (some) of the top issues the Washington Post will tracking at The Technology 202 in 2020:
Experts are proposing that Congress pick eight to 10 up-and-coming tech cities away from the coastal hubs and heavily invest in research and workforce development. They want lawmakers to run a rigorous selection process to pick the rising tech centers, but suggested a list of potential candidates such as Madison (WI) and Minneapolis. The proposal may have a moonshot price tag, but it could gain traction in today's political climate: Economic inequality is emerging as a central theme of the 2020 elections.
Phone logs subpoenaed from Verizon and AT&T put a spotlight on the powerful tools at lawmakers' disposal as they seek to investigate President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry. The records were some of the strongest circumstantial evidence included in the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report, revealing extensive contact between President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and the Trump administration during critical points of the Ukraine saga.
How lawmakers plan to keep the pressure on Big Tech heading into Fall 2019.