Updated Apr 18, 2018

After Zuck, Congress gets busy with privacy bills

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before House Energy and Commerce Committee. Photo: Anadolu Agency / via Getty Images

Lawmakers fired up by Mark Zuckerberg's testimony are homing in on privacy as their Big Tech target, with most active attempts to regulate the industry focusing on companies' use of consumer data.

Why it matters: That means other issues — like competition, or the health impact of social-network overuse — aren’t getting much attention.

The details: Several bills already in the mix on Capitol Hill could be used to regulate Facebook and other tech giants.

  • The MY DATA Act would expand the Federal Trade Commission's authority to let it go after unfair and deceptive practices by internet service providers — currently the commission can only act against such practices on the part of edge providers, outfits like Facebook or Google that offer services to users. And it would give the FTC power to proactively make rules protecting privacy. This bill has limited support, and only from Democrats.
  • The BROWSER Act is a Republican-led bill that requires certain web services and internet providers to get permission from users before utilizing certain types of sensitive data. Its approach is supported by a growing number of internet service providers, who are generally closer to the GOP, but it hasn't gained much traction among Democrats.
  • The CONSENT Act would require web services in particular to get opt-in agreement to use data from users and to tell them if there’s been a data breach. Introduced last week, the bill has only two sponsors — both longtime Democratic privacy advocates.
  • The Secure and Protect Americans’ Data Act mandates steps private companies must take to avoid getting hacked, and lays new requirements on companies that experience data breaches. It was re-introduced last year in response to the Equifax breach but, like all data breach regulation in Congress, hasn't gained much momentum.

What’s next: More bills are coming, including privacy legislation from senators John Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar — both of whom have been very critical of Facebook.

It’s not all privacy. The Honest Ads Act increase the disclosure requirements for online political ads. There's been a push to pass it ahead of the midterms, and it has picked up endorsements from Facebook and Twitter.

But, but, but: Even with the pressure on the companies, no proposal has gained the traction needed to become law. That only becomes harder as the midterms get closer and lawmakers turn their attention from legislating to keeping their jobs.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 721,584 — Total deaths: 33,958 — Total recoveries: 149,122.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 142,106 — Total deaths: 2,479 — Total recoveries: 2,686.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health