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American voters do not want private companies to be allowed to compile and sell data about people without permission, a new poll shows. In a Hill-HarrisX survey of 1,000 registered voters, only 7 percent expressed support for the current U.S. privacy system which allows companies to sell adults' personal data without permission or compensation to those affected. Thirty-six percent said that there was no circumstance where they believed companies should be allowed to compile and sell user or customer data. Another 36 percent said they thought companies should be allowed to compile and sell private information but only with compensation to the people whose data was collected and sold. Twenty-one percent said that companies should be allowed to compile and sell data if they had permission and that the businesses did not have to compensate their customers/users.
Small tech companies fear retaliation from big tech firms like Google and Facebook Inc if they assist in an investigation into allegations the companies misuse their massive market power, the head of the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee leading the probe said on Thursday. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into competition in digital markets early this month shortly after sources said the U.S. executive branch was gearing up for what could be an unprecedented, wide-ranging investigation of Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google. Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat and a top antitrust lawmaker, said on Thursday that many of the small digital companies are reliant on the giants for access to consumers, saying that relationship “makes them concerned about raising their voice, raising concerns about the monopoly power of these platforms.” “If you look at the size of some of the large platforms, their ability to exclude people from the platform can result in closing the business,” Cicilline told reporters.
The Save Journalism Project, a group started by recently laid-off journalists aimed at highlighting tech giants’ effect on the news industry, is launching its first ad campaign this week urging lawmakers to take on Facebook and Google. John Stanton, a former D.C. bureau chief at BuzzFeed News, and Laura Bassett, who was laid off from her job as a Huffington Post reporter this year, launched the group earlier this month to bring attention to how tech platforms’ stranglehold on digital advertising revenue harms local and online news publishers.
A bipartisan pair of House lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a compromise bill aimed at thwarting the scourge of robocalls dialing up U.S. consumers, about one month after the Senate adopted its own anti-robocall bill. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) on Thursday announced the legislation, which differs from the Senate's version on some points but seems to have significant overlap. Pallone and Walden's Stopping Bad Robocalls Act would require phone carriers to implement technology to authenticate whether calls are real or spam, and allow carriers to offer call-blocking services. The legislation specifies the carriers should make sure that legal calls, such as those from doctors offices or creditors, are not blocked, while opening the door for the government to broaden its definition of what constitutes a "robocall." The bill would also give regulators more time to find scammers and push them to ensure companies are not abusing their ability to dial up consumers when they're allowed to..
Protecting U.S. coastlines from rising sea levels could cost an estimated $400 billion over the next 20 years, according to a study published Thursday. The report by Resilient Analytics and the Center for Climate Integrity estimates that more than 50,000 miles of coastal barriers, or sea walls to mitigate rising ocean levels, will need to be constructed in 22 states. More than 130 counties face at least $1 billion in costs, according to the report, and 14 states will see expenses of $10 billion or greater between now and 2040.