Displaying items by tag: Congress

T-Mobile US CEO has confirmed the worst fears of Chinese telecommunication behemoths Huawei and ZTE by officially announcing that it will not use any equipment supplied by either vendor.

Published in Telecom Operators

US Congress pass bill to protect customer data

Written on Monday, 17 December 2018 07:54

Fifteen Democratic senators have proposed a new bill for protecting online information.

The Data Care Act creates new rules around how companies handle the data of customers. Data collectors would be required to ‘reasonably secure’ information and to ‘not use individual identifying data in ways that harm users’. It requires data collectors to give adequate notice to consumers about breaches of sensitive information.

If data collectors share or sell data with a third party, it would give the FTC the authority to fine companies that act deceptively.

It is just one of many proposals that members of Congress have put forward to regulate the tech industry. Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden proposed a bill that would send executives who mishandle data to prison.

Privacy activists have welcomed the bill, believing online personal data should be handled in the same regard as bank or medical records. EFF legislative analyst India McKinney said in a statement that the organization will “look forward to working with the Senator to improve his bill and to advance information fiduciary protections that will meet the needs of Internet users and adequately safeguard consumer data privacy as a part of comprehensive privacy legislation.”

The bill comes after Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before a committee earlier this week. He was questioned on data privacy during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday.

Published in Government

A group which represents a number of major US technology firms has appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to retract its proposed plans to reverse a landmark decision taken in 2015 which prohibited internet service providers from blocking or slowing consumer access to online content.

The Internet Association which represents companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix and Microsoft has filed a complaint to the FCC in relation to the reversal on the decision made in 2015. It cited that the dismantling of the established net neutrality rules would create significant uncertainty in the market and disrupt a careful balance that has led to the current circle of innovation in the broadband ecosystem.

In May, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai expressed his opposition to the order implemented by the Obama administration in 2015. The FCC voted 2-1 to advance the chairman’s plans to reverse the order which would reclassify internet service providers as if they were utilities. Pai has previously enquired if the FCC has authority or should keep its rules barring internet companies from blocking, throttling or giving ‘fast lanes’ to some websites, known as ‘paid prioritization’.

The FCC chairman has claimed that the order by the Obama administration is unnecessary and harms jobs and investment, and whilst he hasn’t committee to retaining any rules, he has stated that he would prefer an ‘open internet’. However, representatives on the Internet Association said that there is no reliable evidence whatsoever to reinforce Pai’s claim that ‘provider investment’ had fallen.

It has been disclosed that over 8.3m public comments have been filed on the proposal, and Pai will face questions at a US Senate hearing later this week. US telecommunications entities such as AT&T, Verizon Communications and Comcast Corp all vehemently opposed the order in 2015, saying that the order discouraged investment and innovation.

Telecommunication providers have insisted that they strongly support open internet rules and will not block or throttle legal website without legal requirements. However, they have conceded that ‘paid prioritization’ makes sense at times, citing self-driving cars and healthcare information. Internet firms say opening the door to prioritization could enable providers to "destroy the open nature of the internet that allows new or smaller streaming video providers to compete with larger or better-funded edge providers."

Internet providers have expressed their desire to see Congress resolve the long-running dispute over net neutrality and open internet protections. The Internet Association said it was open to alternative legal bases for the rules, either via legislative action codifying the existing net neutrality rules or via sound legal theories offered by the commission.

Published in Government