The White House is preparing to send a sweeping online privacy proposal to Congress that would restrict how companies like Google and Facebook handle consumer data while greatly expanding the power of the Federal Trade Commission to police abuses — ideas that are likely to incite strong opposition in Congress. The forthcoming measure — slated for release next month — would require large Internet companies, online advertisers, mobile app makers and others to ask permission from consumers before collecting and sharing their most sensitive personal information, according to three sources briefed by administration officials.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to change the definition of broadband Internet to connection speeds of 25 megabits per second or higher, up from the previous standard of 4 megabits. FCC commissioners voted on the definition as part of the agency’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report. If speeds do not reach the new threshold, a connection cannot be listed as “broadband.”
Facebook Inc. is being quizzed by Hamburg’s privacy watchdog amid concerns the social network giant’s revamped user-data policies may violate German law. Facebook was given until the end of the next month to respond to questions on the data handling and may face a probe if it fails to allay concerns, the regulator, Johannes Caspar, said in Berlin.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is embroiled in a rare, high-stakes public dispute with a powerful Chinese government agency that is accusing the e-commerce giant of allegedly failing to crack down on the sale of fake goods, bribery and other illegal activity on its sites. The government’s accusations are in a white paper just made public by China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce but based on conversations between the agency and Alibaba company officials in July.
The Chinese government has adopted new regulations requiring companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code, submit to invasive audits and build so-called back doors into hardware and software, according to a copy of the rules obtained by foreign technology companies that do billions of dollars’ worth of business in China. The new rules, laid out in a 22-page document approved at the end of last year, are the first in a series of policies expected to be unveiled in the coming months that Beijing says are designed to strengthen cybersecurity in critical Chinese industries.