Mar 26, 2019

FTC demands telecoms release non-public details on privacy practices

Photo: Sean Proctor for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission has issued orders to 7 U.S. broadband providers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast and Google Fiber, demanding they hand over information about their privacy practices and how they monetize consumer data — including those practices the companies have chosen to keep under wraps.

Details: The FTC wants to know what kind of personal information these companies are collecting from users and how they're using that data, including whether they are sharing it with third parties. The FTC has requested the companies also share whether consumers have a choice in the collection and use of their data and whether users who opt-out of collection are punished.

  • The FTC also wants to know to what extent the data collected is anonymized and protected from internal access.

Reality check: It remains to be seen whether the FTC will be able to take action based on these findings, such as issuing guidelines or best privacy practice recommendations for telecommunication companies. The companies can try to sidestep the request, as with a subpoena, but the FTC can file suit to obtain the information regardless, per Bloomberg.

Between the lines: Last week, FTC chairman Joe Simons indicated the FTC planned to demand companies hand over details about their privacy practices, but it wasn’t clear at the time which ones he would be targeting, per Bloomberg.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

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.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow6 hours ago - World