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 South Carolina General Assembly passed a bill supporters said will help get high-speed internet to hundreds of thousands of people in rural areas.
A $100 million program to increase internet usage among low-income Alabama families during the pandemic has gone mostly unused, and the state is sending 300,000 more vouchers in a search for additional takers. While 75,000 students have gained internet access so far through the program, which seeks to make it easier for students to get online for school, around 450,000 students qualify statewide, said Mike Presley, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The second round of vouchers is being sent by a state contractor to increase participation.
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.