Six Senate Democrats introduced a data breach bill, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, on Thursday. The bill, proposed by Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and supported by Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), would not trump stronger state data-breach laws. Two other data-breach bills were recently introduced in the Senate, and a third competing bill could come later this week, the Hill reports.
The Federal Communications Commission will give broadband providers $1.7 billion to expand Web service at speeds of at least 10 Mbps to rural portions of the country. Incumbent telecoms will have 120 days to apply for funding; if the local telecoms don't apply, cable companies will be able to seek the funds.
Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Luke Messer (R-Ind.) introduced the “Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015,” which would prohibit operators of websites, apps and other online services for students from selling their personal information to third parties. The measure also prohibits online services' operators from using students' personal information to tailor ads to them.
Facebook's European vice president of public policy, Richard Allen, warned that additional privacy regulations by individual EU countries could spur the company to cut back on new features. “National regulation would pose serious obstacles,” Allen wrote in a column in the Financial Times. “Facebook’s costs would increase, and people in Europe would notice new features arriving more slowly, or not at all.”
Twitter's first-quarter earnings were posted to the microblogging service half an hour before they were slated to be released, thanks to market intelligence firm Selerity, which found the results on Twitter's investor relations page and tweeted them. The company's stock price plunged 18% this afternoon, after the tweet revealed that the company's revenue missed expectations.
An 83-year-old retiree in California was billed $24,000 by AT&T because, for three months, he unwittingly accessed AOL's dial-up service through an international phone number, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus reports. “I don't care if Dorff was making daily calls to the International Space Station. The simple fact is that AT&T allowed a customer's bill to become so over the top as to be laughable,” Lazarus writes. AT&T ultimately waived the charges, he reports.
The Federal Communications Commission will hold a privacy workshop on Tuesday, when it will examine how broadband providers must treat consumers' private data. The workshop grows out of the FCC's recent decision to require broadband providers to follow common carrier regulations, including rules aimed at protecting consumers' privacy.
Texas State's Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered Galveston County Judge Michelle Slaughter to take a four-hour class on social media use by judges, Ars Technica reports. Last year, Slaughter posted updates about a trial she was presiding over to her own Facebook page. Those updates ultimately resulted in her removal from the case and a mistrial.
The New York Times looks at how the government's views on net neutrality affected Comcast's doomed merger with Time Warner Cable. “At the end of the day, the government’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Internet did not square with the prospect of a single company controlling as much as 40 percent of the public’s access to it,” the Times' Jonathan Mahler writes in a news analysis.
Comcast's deal with Time Warner might have died this week, but the state of broadband in the U.S. remains "pretty lousy," re/code's Peter Kafka writes. “Most people who want high-speed access are stuck with a single provider, with no incentive to provide better speeds, quality or service,” Kafka writes.