Verizon is pledging to stop selling information on phone owners’ locations to data brokers, stepping back from a business practice that has drawn criticism for endangering privacy. The data has allowed outside companies to pinpoint the location of wireless devices without their owners’ knowledge or consent. Verizon said that about 75 companies have been obtaining its customer data from two little-known CA-based brokers that Verizon supplies directly — LocationSmart and Zumigo.
The European Union's highest court has given its support to the bloc's rules that stop internet providers from charging customers for preferential access to their networks. The European Court of Justice issued its first interpretation of the EU's net neutrality rules since they were adopted in 2015. The court backed the principle of an open internet after Hungarian wireless carrier Telenor Magyarorszag had sought an interpretation of the rules.
The state of Mississippi is asking AT&T to provide records of the work it promised to do to expand broadband access in the state after the Public Service Commission gave the company almost $300 million, officials said. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has signed an investigative subpoena for records from AT&T related to the company’s claim to have made internet service available to 133,000 locations in the state through the Connect America Fund, a federal program for expanded broadband in rural areas of the US.
Roughly 3 million students across the United States don't have access to a home internet connection. A third of households with school-age children that do not have home internet cite the expense as the main reason, according to federal Education Department statistics. But in some rural places, a reliable connection can't be had at any price. The void is especially acute in eastern Kentucky. Many districts have been scrambling to set up paper-based alternatives to online instruction or create WiFi hot spots in school parking lots and other public areas.
Fearful of losing federal pandemic dollars, officials from states across the country are rushing to finish projects by the end of 2020 aimed at expanding broadband internet into underserved areas. To comply with the current CARES Act rules, states must have the broadband projects, which can typically take months if not years of planning and construction, up and running by Dec. 30. Efforts are underway in Congress to provide greater flexibility in the funding.