A group of top Democratic senators from four key committees on Monday unveiled their priorities for the nation's first comprehensive privacy bill, reinvigorating a debate that had stalled for months on Capitol Hill. Some of the proposals set out by the Democrats could be non-starters for Republicans, including the clause that would allow users to sue companies over privacy violations and the fact that it does not override state privacy legislation.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals’ medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented,” Roger Severino, the office’s director, said in a statement, referring to the federal law restricting the release of medical information.
Google LLC has been busily collecting health data on millions of Americans across 21 states, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The initiative, which Google seemed to have kept secret from the public, is codenamed “Project Nightingale.” Documents obtained by the Journal reveal that the heath data has been shared in partnership with St. Louis-based chain of hospitals called Ascension, a Catholic hospital that calls itself “a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care.”
President Trump's newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios on Thursday criticized Chinese surveillance and censorship in his first major international remarks, ramping up the Trump administration's intensifying battle to beat out China's fast-growing tech industry. Kratsios, who was confirmed as the White House's top tech adviser in August, spent the bulk of a keynote speech in Portugal urging Europe and the U.S. to "embrace innovation and defend our free system against our adversaries."
A pair of California Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a tough privacy bill that would significantly curtail Silicon Valley's control over all Americans' personal information. The bill, introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would create a new federal agency to oversee how the country's largest and most powerful tech companies amass and use data about their millions of users across the U.S. It would also grant all users expansive rights over their data.
There’s nothing “free” about what companies like Facebook and Google are offering, Warner said. Established companies don’t want more transparency about how data is monetized and whether it differentiates among individuals. Whether or not data is considered property, said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., companies are making money off its value. Out of the 95 billion dollars Facebook made last year, he said, most of the revenue came from targeted advertisements.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) in letters to Amazon and Google this week raised concerns that smart speakers are "eavesdropping" on customers without their consent. In a pair of letters on Thursday, Dingell pressed Amazon executive Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai over how they vet applications running on Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
WIRED identified eight public school systems, from rural areas to giant urban districts, that have moved to install facial recognition systems in the past year. There likely are many more. The technology watched over thousands of students returning to school in recent weeks, continually checking faces against watch lists compiled by school officials and law enforcement.
The Department of Commerce added 28 new companies and agencies to its running “blacklist” of Chinese firms banned from doing business in the United States, with a notable focus on companies that specialize in artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital surveillance.
A U.S. online privacy bill is not likely to come before Congress this year, three sources said, as lawmakers disagree over issues like whether the bill should preempt state rules, forcing companies to deal with much stricter legislation in California that goes into effect on Jan. 1.