Elon Musk, Amid Tesla Furor, Tells of ‘Most Difficult’ Year
David Gelles et al., The New York Times
Elon Musk was at home in Los Angeles, struggling to maintain his composure. “This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career,” he said. “It was excruciating.”
Google Clarifies Location-tracking Policy
Ryan Nakashima, The Associated Press
Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its “Location History” setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they’ve disabled the setting. The change came three days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History.
Dem Requests DOJ Probe on Law Enforcement Use of Facial Recognition Technology
Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill
A Democratic lawmaker is raising concerns about law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technologies, saying it could pose issues for minority Americans and potentially be in violation of civil rights protections.
Rep. Invites Industry Leaders to Weigh ICO Regulation
Shannon Vavra and Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) is inviting 32 industry leaders, lobbyists, and nonprofits this week to attend a Sept. 25 forum on Capitol Hill to discuss what he calls “light-touch” regulation on initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to the invitation and list Axios has obtained.
Stocks Drop in Turbulent Week; Turkish Lira Falls: Markets Wrap
Todd White, Bloomberg
European stocks slipped Friday alongside U.S. equity futures as Turkey’s lira resumed weakening after a three-day pause. The dollar pared a loss and Treasuries gained, with investors staying cautious before Turkish markets close for a holiday next week.
Intellectual Property and Antitrust
Pai Tells Senate Panel That FCC’s Inspector General Asked Him to Keep Mum During Cyberattack Investigation
Hamza Shaban, The Washington Post
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told a Senate committee Thursday that he did not update Congress or the public about the true nature of a website malfunction at the agency because he was bound by a confidentiality request by the agency’s inspector general. Pai said he initially relied on the agency’s then-chief information officer in claiming that the FCC had suffered a cyberattack after people experienced difficulties filing online comments regarding the future of net neutrality rules — even though Pai suspected that this wasn’t the case.
Telecom, Wireless and TV
Streaming TV Services Now Reach 5% of U.S. Wi-fi Households, up 58% Since Last Year
Sarah Perez, TechCrunch
The number of U.S. households watching streaming TV services – those that deliver cable TV-like programming over the internet – has grown a remarkable 58% over last year, according to new data from comScore. However, these services still account for a small portion of the overall market, as only 5 percent (4.9 million) of U.S. households with Wi-Fi streamed TV over one of these services in April 2018.
Pai to Senate Dems: Hysterical Net Neutrality Predictions Were Baseless
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable
FCC chair Ajit Pai continued his net neutrality rule rollback defense on the Hill Thursday (Aug. 16), this time in a Senate Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing, where he confronted the Democratic critics of his net neutrality deregulation.
FCC Chair: Action Against Pirate Radio Station Isn’t About Alex Jones
David McCabe, Axios
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that his agency took action against a Texas pirate radio station simply because it operated without a license — not because it airs the content of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Amazon is Driving More Transaction-based Revenue For TV Networks And Studios
Sahil Patel, Digiday
Amazon has become a growing source of transactional revenue for TV networks, studios and other video producers selling movies and TV shows through Prime Video.
Mobile Technology and Social Media
Fake Numbers? Facebook Misled Advertisers With Inflated ‘Potential Reach,’ Lawsuit Says
Seung Lee, Bay Area News Group
Facebook allegedly misled advertisers on its platform by demonstrating it had a far larger audience size in U.S. cities and states than it actually had, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed by a Kansas-based aromatherapy fashionwear business owner, alleged Facebook ballooned its “Potential Reach” number for how many users were targeted by an advertisement, thereby misleading advertisers to purchase more advertisements than they might otherwise have.
‘Weaponized Ad Technology’: Facebook’s Moneymaker Gets a Critical Eye
Natasha Singer, The New York Times
Some government officials, researchers and advertising executives warn that it can be exploited to polarize and manipulate voters. And they are calling for restrictions on its use in politics, even after Facebook, in response to criticism, recently limited some of the targeting categories available to advertisers.
MoviePass Adds Even More Restrictions as it Transitions to New Plan
Sara Salinas, CNBC
MoviePass is adding even more restrictions as it transitions users to its new pared-down movie subscription plan. The popular but financially ailing movie subscription service will offer users a choice of just six movies each day, the company said in an email to members Thursday, at the same time it’s slashing the service to cap users at three included movies per month.
DoorDash More Than Doubles Valuation to $4 Billion
Greg Bensinger, The Wall Street Journal
DoorDash Inc. on Thursday said it raised $250 million in a round of funding that values the prepared food-delivery startup at $4 billion, more than doubling its valuation for the second time in five months.
Kroger Launches Autonomous Grocery Delivery Service in Arizona
Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica
Starting today, residents of Scottsdale, Arizona have the opportunity to receive autonomous grocery deliveries from Fry’s Food Stores—a brand owned by grocery giant Kroger. The technology is supplied by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup founded by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car project.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
Chinese Hackers Targeted U.S. Firms, Government After Trade Mission: Researchers
Christopher Bing and Jack Stubbs, Reuters
Hackers operating from an elite Chinese university probed American companies and government departments for espionage opportunities following a U.S. trade delegation visit to China earlier this year, security researchers told Reuters.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Facebook Has a Plan to Protect The U.S. Midterms. Is It Enough?
Kurt Wagner, Recode
The social network would like to avoid an election disaster like the one that hit it in 2016.
Google Outgrows Its Youthful Ideals
Christopher Mims, The Wall Street Journal
In middle age, the search giant’s motto has gone from ‘Don’t be evil’ to something more like ‘Get real.’
Elon Musk is The Id of Tech
Kara Swisher, The New York Times
A lot of people have been asking me for my take on what’s going on with Elon Musk these days. But what they’re really asking is obvious: Is he crazy?
Artificial Intelligence Still Isn’t All That Smart
Noah Smith, Bloomberg
Some routine jobs might be at risk someday, but work requiring judgment seems safe.
Could a Continuing Resolution Save The Tech Modernization Fund in 2019?
Carten Cordell, FedScoop
While the House and Senate continue to hammer out the details of how much money the Technology Modernization Fund will receive in fiscal 2019, the weapon of choice for financing the government for the past dozen years could be a way to sidestep the appropriators — the continuing resolution.
Tripwire State of Cyber Hygiene Report
When a high-profile cyberattack grabs the headlines, your first instinct may be to funnel resources into purchasing a shiny new tool to defend your organization. But often, that’s not what’s really needed.
Earning and Maintaining Consent in The GDPR Era
We now live in the GDPR era – a new landscape of consumer privacy protection created by a regulation powerful enough to be felt around the world. Living with GDPR means learning about GDPR and creating new policies and procedures for consumer communications.