Sep 26, 2018

Tech firms divided before Senate privacy hearing

Sen. John Thune is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A group of companies including Apple, Google and AT&T will call for federal privacy legislation at a Wednesday Senate hearing.

Where it stands: Despite that agreement, expect the firms' differences to be in stark relief, as some of them look to differentiate themselves from the major ad platforms, Google included, that have led the way in monetizing user data.

What we’re hearing:

  • Google will defend its ad-supported business model while supporting federal regulations, its witness, Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright, told us this week.
  • Apple will look to draw a contrast with companies that need to monetize user data to have a successful business.
  • ISP Charter Communications will call for privacy legislation that applies both to companies like itself as well as “edge” providers like the social platforms, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans. An AT&T spokesperson noted in a statement that it “long supported federal legislation to protect consumer privacy through a clear and consistent set of safeguards that apply equally to all platforms.”

Amazon and Twitter will also participate in the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, which comes as the panel tries to put together a legislative package on privacy.

  • That is unlikely to occur before the midterm elections, lawmakers say.
  • Companies are likely to push for federal legislation that preempts state rules, thanks to a privacy law that passed the California legislature this year and goes into effect in 2020.

The bottom line: The California law has brought companies and policymakers to the table. Now, industry wants to shape whatever national law emerges from that process.

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health