Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.
The next FCC Open Meeting is scheduled for September 30, 2020, at 10:30am ET. The Final Agenda contains nine items, including a Report and Order further implementing the TRACED Act to thwart spoofed robocalls. The meeting will be live streamed here. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
As previously reported, the FCC is considering GC Docket No. 20-221 several updates to its ex parte rules, including a proposal to exempt, in certain proceedings, communications between the Commission and federally recognized Tribal Nations. Initial Comments are due October 2, 2020, with Reply Comments due October 19, 2020. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner. (GC Docket No. 20-221)
The FCC has announced that the rules adopted in the Third Report and Order in the Robocall docket, which provides two safe harbors and associated protections for the blocking of certain calls, will take effect on October 14, 2020. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (CG Docket No. 17-59, DA 20-1109)
In the Courts
Litigation continues in multiple jurisdictions over what class action plaintiffs call the “facial recognition arms race.” Two Chicago residents are leading the charge against the likes of IBM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facefirst, claiming that their facial recognition products violate Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act. One of the latest complaints is Vance v. Google LLC, filed in the Northern District of California. Last week Google filed a motion to dismiss or to stay this case pending the outcome of Vance v. International Business Machines, Inc., filed in the Northern District of Illinois. A key issue is whether the plaintiffs’ Illinois residency and their acts of uploading photos from devices in Illinois are sufficient to invoke the Illinois privacy law. For more information, please contact Susan Metcalfe.
The 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window, which enabled Tribal entities access to 2.5 GHz spectrum to provide broadband on Tribal lands, closed September 2, 2020. More than 400 applications were filed during the seven-month window that opened on February 3, 2020. On September 15, 2020, the FCC announced that 157 of the filed applications had been found acceptable for filing. Additional applications accepted for filing will be announced in one or more future public notices. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner.
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