Robbie McBeath

Reactions to the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) unveiled comprehensive federal online privacy legislation to establish privacy rights, outlaw harmful and deceptive practices, and improve data security safeguards for the record number of American consumers who now shop or conduct business online. The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA) gives Americans control over their personal data; prohibits companies from using consumers’ data to harm or deceive them; establishes strict standards for the collection, use, sharing, and protection of consumer data; protects civil right

Reactions to Sprint/T-Mobile Vote at the FCC

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): “I have repeatedly raised serious antitrust concerns about the harmful effects of merging T-Mobile and Sprint, two of the four remaining nationwide wireless carriers. Overwhelming evidence shows that approving this merger will almost certainly hurt competition and consumers and lead to higher prices, worse service, and less innovation. I am hopeful that the lawsuit brought by over a dozen state attorneys general to block the merger will be successful.”

More Reaction to Net Neutrality Decision

Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Senior Fellow & Public Advocate:  "The DC Circuit Court has spoken very clearly --  the states are now free to do what the FCC will not –- assert authority over the broadband market and protect an open Internet. Broadband providers will inevitably complain about having to comply with a so-called 'patchwork' of different state laws, but that is of their own making.

Digital Divide Policy Enters the National Conversation

The digital divide is a complicated technical and political policy issue in the U.S., with unique urban and rural challenges. Some 2020 candidates are recognizing the importance of the issue and spreading awareness. But if we’re seeking to bring affordable, high-capacity broadband to all people in the U.S., both access and adoption challenges need to be addressed. And policymakers must take into account the role competition must play in these two challenges.

2020 Candidates Offer Plans to Extend the Reach of Broadband

Two 2020 presidential candidates released plans for investing in rural America this week. And broadband plays a key role in both. Senator Elizabeth Warren's (D-MA) plan to invest in rural America includes a "public option for broadband" and a proposal to create an Office of Broadband Access that will manage an $85 billion federal grant program to expand broadband access across the country. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) plan includes having the White House be a funding partner for communites and a call for a $60 billion investment to connect all Americans.

New Tool Helps Navigate State Broadband Policy

The Pew Charitable Trusts released the State Broadband Policy Explorer - an easily accessible database that contains information on state-level broadband policy and legislation.

The FTC Fines Facebook. But Privacy Violations Are Not a Thing of the Past

On July 24, 2019 the Federal Trade Commission, together with the Department of Justice, announced a record-breaking $5 billion penalty for Facebook, alleging the company had repeatedly misled its users about the way advertisers and app developers could obtain their personal data. What did Facebook do wrong? What are the components of the settlement? What does it all mean for Big Tech? Let's dive in.

Reactions to FTC's $5 Billion Settlement with Facebook for Privacy Violations

The Federal Trade Commission released details of its settlement with Facebook over violations to a 2012 consent decree. Under the settlement, Facebook has agreed to pay $5 billion, create a privacy committee on Facebook’s board, and conduct a privacy review. The FTC alleges that Facebook repeatedly violated the 2012 order, and that the improper data collection and misuse by Cambridge Analytica was just a part of a larger problem. Some reactions:

Under the Radar Broadband Policy

Nearly drowned out by all the Big Tech hearings and unPresidential tweets this week were developments in broadband deployment. We learned of more funding for rural broadband and a proposal to improve broadband deployment data collection. But we were also reminded of the problems and challenges that still exist in reaching the most disconnected areas.

The FCC's July Meeting: A Broadband Action Blockbuster

The Federal Communications Commission held its monthly open meeting on July 10. We gave a preview of the meeting a few weeks back. There were eight items in total in the action-packed agenda, but we’re going to unpack a few of the actions that are especially relevant to open, affordable, high-capacity broadband in the U.S.