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 tomorrow, October 26, 2021, at 10:30am ET. The final Agenda, after a late deletion, contains only three items: a “national security matter”; a Public Notice announcing the entities selected for Connected Care Pilot Program funding; and a virtual field hearing on communications resiliency during natural disasters. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The FTC has released a staff report on Internet Service Provider data collection practices. The report covers six ISPs that, according to the FTC, own 98% of the mobile Internet market – AT&T Mobility, Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Charter Communications, Comcast d/b/a Xfinity, T-Mobile US, and Google Fiber. FTC staff found that these ISPs promise not to sell consumer information to third parties, but they do share information that third parties then monetize and transfer to entities like car salesmen and property managers. In connection with the report, the FTC issued orders to three advertising entities affiliated with the ISPs – Appnexus/Xandr, Verizon Online, and Verizon Media – seeking information on their data collection practices. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearingtomorrow, October 26, 2021, at 10:00am ET, titled “Protecting Kids Online: Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.” Scheduled witnesses include Michael Beckerman, Tik Tok Vice President and Head of Public Policy – Americas, and Leslie Miller, You Tube Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The California Privacy Protection Agency (“Agency”), which was created under the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) to enforce the CPRA and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), has invited preliminary public comment on a proposed rulemaking under the CPRA. The Agency is particularly interested in comments on “new and undecided” issues raised by the CPRA that are not already covered by the CCPA and its regulations, including: information processing that presents a significant risk to consumer privacy or security; cybersecurity audits and the scope of the Agency’s audit authority; automated decision making; exercising rights to delete, correct and to know; and the right to limit use and disclosure of sensitive personal information. Comments are due November 8, 2021. A rulemaking action is expected later this year, followed by public hearings. The Agency must finalize the regulations by July 1, 2022. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner.
As of the September 1, 2021, deadline, more than 300 applications have been submitted by Tribal entities seeking more than $5 Billion in grant funding under the U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant Program. NTIA has begun reviewing applications and requesting supplemental information during the cure process. According to the agency’s FAQs, the Application Review Process will run through December 2021 in three stages: Initial Administrative and Eligibility Review (ensuring applications are complete); Merit Review (scoring of applications by two reviewers); and Programmatic Review (ensuring that applications determined qualified for funding meet programmatic objectives and priorities). Awards will be announced on a rolling basis beginning December 13, 2021. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner.
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