Mar 22, 2017

GOP effort may help internet firms compete with Facebook, Google in online ad market

Elise Amendola / AP

Republicans working to nix FCC privacy rules could change the competitive marketplace for advertising, as Bloomberg reports. The rules in question, which were adopted by the agency last fall, require cable and telephone companies to get consent from a customer before sharing personal data and data about their internet app use with third-party advertisers.

The winners: If this rule slashing goes through, companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter. They'll be better able to host ads that target subscribers. That'll allow them to compete against Google and Facebook, which currently dominate the online advertising market.

The losers: Privacy. Proponents of keeping the rule say cutting it would be akin to saying "it's OK for the big phone and cable companies to spy on Americans," as the Executive Director for the Center for Digital Democracy noted.

What to watch: Congressional Republicans are poised to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the regulations. Senate backers of the effort are hoping to move it to a vote as soon as today, according to congressional sources.

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Experimental coronavirus vaccine to be tested on humans

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The vaccine that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and drugmaker Moderna have been developing to combat the coronavirus is ready to be tested on humans, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: The rapidly developed vaccine will be tested on 20–25 healthy volunteers in April to determine whether two doses will be safe and generate an immune response to protect against infection. Results will be available in July or August, Fauci told WSJ.

#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.