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AP

Some lawmakers see a potential dark side in the chance that self-driving cars will generate massive amounts of data that could later be exposed:

  • From the right: "Autonomous vehicles will be collecting all kinds of data — pictures and video — every second that they're in operation," said conservative Sen. James Inhofe during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday. "And what we don't want is the wrong people to get ahold of that."
  • From the left: Democrat Ed Markey, a major privacy advocate, also had concerns. "We should not have to choose as Americans between being connected and being protected," he said. He asked witnesses at the hearing if the industry should have "mandatory cybersecurity standards" and other features to deal with hacking.

The bigger picture: The cybersecurity of connected cars has long been a concern for lawmakers. Consumer data privacy issues have received attention as well. With Silicon Valley companies like Google invested in autonomous cars, it's an issue some advocates have seized on.

What to watch: Several senators on the Commerce Committee are putting together a legislative package on self-driving technology, as are some of their colleagues in the House. Those could both come this summer.

Go deeper

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.

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