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.
Tennessee officials are moving forward with a plan to map out just where hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans without access to high-speed Internet live, following the lead of other states that no longer rely on federal maps that overstate coverage in some communities. The plan involves collecting and validating service data from broadband providers in Tennessee for about a year, with an anticipated completion of summer 2022, said Crystal Ivey, broadband director for the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
Schools were working well before the pandemic to address the challenges presented by the digital divide, which disproportionately affects Black, Latino, and Native American students and those in low-income households. The shift to distance learning dramatically raised the stakes. Schools had to take a lead because the federal government has failed to make internet available and affordable, said Blair Levin, an Obama-era Federal Communications Commission official.“The schools were so stressed,” Levin said. “It was not easy. It was a big burden.”
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.