Executive Briefing February 28, 2020

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

CNN Business Microsoft hopes this technology can help fix America’s elections
Microsoft teamed up with a small Wisconsin town to test its cutting edge election security system called ElectionGuard. The tech giant says it can thwart hackers and help win back voters’ trust in elections.

New York Magazine Mike Bloomberg’s Big-Tech Campaign
One major trend of presidential campaigns in the 21st century is how they’ve grown to more and more closely resemble a tech outfit, using digital solutions to make themselves more efficient. What was a curiosity in 2004 is now a major pillar of any serious campaign, right alongside oppo research and TV spending.

Axios Older candidates take the lead on social media
Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — all close to 80 — are pushing the boundaries on social media, while their younger Democratic presidential rivals are comparatively staying out of the fray.

THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON

The Wall Street Journal Tapping Trump’s Anger About 2016 Surveillance, White House Seeks Overhaul of Spying Law
Senior White House officials are discussing an overhaul of the government’s surveillance program for people in the U.S. suspected of posing a national-security risk, spurred in part by President Trump’s grievances about an investigation of a 2016 campaign adviser, according to people familiar with the matter.

The New York Times N.S.A. Phone Program Cost $100 Million, but Produced Only Two Unique Leads
A disputed program that allowed the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic calls and texts yielded only one significant investigation, according to a newly declassified study.

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Mondaq Washington State Lawmakers Divided Over Private Right Of Action And Other Relief In Dueling Data Privacy Bills
On February 14, 2020, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6281, bringing Washington one step closer to enacting the Washington Privacy Act, the state’s first consumer data privacy law. In January, lawmakers introduced and began debate on companion bills in both houses of the state legislature.

Sierra Sun Times Attorney General Becerra Updates Congress on California Consumer Privacy Act, Urges Expansion with Future Legislation
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today sent a letter to members of Congress with an update on California’s implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In the letter, the Attorney General urged Congress to use federal legislation to build on rather than preempt the consumer rights and privacy protections made possible by the CCPA or other state law.

Tech Republic Why 40% of privacy compliance tech will rely on AI by 2023
In the next three years, more than 40% of privacy technology will rely on artificial intelligence (AI), up from 5% currently, Gartner found. With privacy laws and data breaches coming into focus in 2019, security leaders are looking for new ways to keep personal information safe.

Fortune Scientists are turning to A.I. to discover new antibiotics that can fight superbugs
The global health community has long warned of a possible superbug catastrophe.Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated the list of potential antibiotic-resistant threats to include up to 18 bacteria and fungi.

Law360 US Digital Divide Is Getting Smaller, FCC Reports [Paywall]
The number of Americans without access to high-speed internet fell during the first two years of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s tenure, according to data unveiled by the agency Thursday.

EdScoop Broadband’s spread is transforming classroom education
Digital learning not only plays a crucial role in preparing today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow, it also has an important role in providing more equitable access to education, especially in smaller and remote school districts.

The Daily Item TELEMEDICINE IN THE VALLEY: Portable broadband devices help keep rural patients connected to docs
With limited broadband access in some areas of rural Central Pennsylvania, health care providers are looking for ways to get around the issue and provide telemedicine to all patients.

CNET Facebook cancels F8 developers conference over coronavirus concerns
Facebook said Thursday it’s cancelling its annual F8 developer conference, the social media giant’s biggest event of the year, over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The unusual move illustrates how the outbreak of respiratory illness COVID-19 continues to impact the operations of the world’s largest tech companies.

CNBC Microsoft warns it will miss guidance for segment that includes Windows because of coronavirus
Microsoft shares fell 2% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company said it doesn’t expect to meet the quarterly revenue guidance it previously provided for the segment that includes Windows.

One Zero Exclusive Survey Reveals Discrimination Against Visa Workers at Tech’s Biggest Companies
In 2010, Alex left a “pretty small country in Asia” to study computer science at one of America’s elite universities. Alex, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of this story, eventually caught the eye of Microsoft, which sponsored their H-1B visa.

The Wall Street Journal Should All Children Learn to Code by the End of High School?
At every high school, students are required to show proficiency in certain subjects to graduate. Now there’s a push to include computer coding as one of those subjects. The idea is that such a skill will be invaluable in a world that increasingly runs on computer technology.

The Guardian Users would tell Facebook their bank balance for $8.44 a month
German Facebook users would want the social media platform to pay them about $8 per month for sharing their contact information, while US users would only seek $3.50, according to a study of how people in various countries value their private information.

Axios Huawei makes its case against U.S. hostilities
Two top Huawei U.S. executives are at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, hoping the crowd of security experts will be more receptive to its position than have been policymakers in Washington, where the Chinese giant has gotten an increasingly hostile reception.

KFDA New Mexico Attorney General to sue Google over student privacy concerns
The New Mexico Attorney General is suing Google after five years of investigation lead to the discovery of the company collecting information from students such as location and search history.

THINK TANK/TECH TRADE ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS

The Brookings Institute

  • Report on Broadband and Infrastructure
    Two decades into the new millennium, the digitalization of American life is no longer striking—it is ordinary. Every industry relies on computing, cloud storage, or other digital equipment to sell goods and services. Employers increasingly demand more advanced digital skills from the labor force. Meanwhile, people’s individual lives often orbit around the internet, whether at home, at work, or on the move. Even decades-old infrastructure—from roads and rails to water pipes and the energy grid—now relies on digital equipment for construction, operation, and modernization. (Report – Digital prosperity: How broadband can deliver health and equity to all communities, February 27, 2020)

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