Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing everything you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on HERE.
Senators on both sides of the aisle have come together to pressure Amazon for details of its fingerprint scanner program, which allows shoppers to pay at Amazon stores without ever taking out cash or cards . Senators said the program raises questions about the e-commerce giant’s plans to use biometric data.
Meanwhile, Google and Apple are facing new regulations aimed at curbing the dominance of their app stores. A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill to increase competition in the apps market, just days after a companion bill was introduced in the Senate.
AMAZON A QUESTION: A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Amazon on Friday raising questions about its collection of biometrics.
Lawmakers are particularly interested in expanding the company’s Amazon One fingerprint scanner program.
Scanners are used in Amazon stores to allow customers to pay without having to withdraw a card or cash if they sign up for the program.
âRecent reports indicate that Amazon is encouraging consumers to share their biometric information with Amazon One by offering a promotional credit of $ 10 for Amazon.com products,â Sens said. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar A more insidious takeover than that attempted on January 6? Time to break Big Tech’s media monopoly FTC revamps Facebook antitrust lawsuit after initial setback (D-Minn.), Bill CassidyBill CassidyWith a doomed minority, US Senate remains place where bills go to die Hillicon Valley: Senators want answers on Amazon’s biometrics collection | House members issue accompanying bill targeting app stores | Google Files to Dismiss Ohio Lawsuit A Two-House Tale: Trump’s Power Holds in the House, Diminishes in the Senate MORE (R-La.) And Jon osoffJon OssoffHerschel Walker files papers to run for Senate in Georgia Sanders goes back to 2016 playbook to sell 0.5T budget A more insidious takeover than attempted on January 6? FOLLOWING (D-Ga.) Wrote to new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.
“Amazon’s expansion of biometric data collection through Amazon One raises serious questions about Amazon’s plans for this data and its respect for user privacy, including how Amazon can use the data. for advertising and tracking purposes, âthey continued.
Lawmakers are asking the e-commerce giant to answer a series of questions by the end of the month about Amazon One’s expansion and how the data collected will be protected.
APP INVOICE 2: A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Friday introduced a bill to increase competition in the apps market.
The Open App Markets Act would seek to limit the dominance of Apple and Google’s app stores by preventing them from auto-preferring their own products and allowing users to download tools from third-party stores.
It would also end demands that app developers use store-run payment systems, a major source of criticism from small businesses in the space.
The legislation was released as a companion to a proposed Senate bill earlier this week.
The House version of the bill was presented by the rank member of the House antitrust subcommittee Ken buckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckLawmakers inundated with calls for help on Afghanistan’s exit to Hillicon Valley: Senators want answers on Amazon’s biometrics collection | House members issue accompanying bill targeting app stores | Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit House members release accompanying bill targeting PLUS app stores (R-Colo.) And Rep. Hank johnsonHenry (Hank) C. Johnson Hillicon Valley: Senators Want Answers on Amazon’s Biometric Data Collection | House members issue accompanying bill targeting app stores | Google files a case to dismiss the Ohio lawsuit. (D-Ga.). Sense. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And Marsha blackburnMarsha Blackburn Conservative radio host who lamented vaccine skepticism dies of COVID-19 on Sunday shows preview: Kabul chaos hampers US evacuation efforts GOP senator calls Biden to fire Sullivan, the PLUS National Security Team (R-Tenn.) Are behind the upper chamber version.
“For far too long, companies like Google and Apple have had a stranglehold on application developers who are forced to accept the terms set by these monopolies in order to reach their customers,” Buck said in a statement.
Google and Apple’s positions in the app market have come under increasing scrutiny since Apple kicked Fortnite from Epic Games out of its store for implementing its own integrated payment system to avoid charges. 30% commission from the Silicon Valley giant.
THE GOOGLE MOVEMENT: Google is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Ohio attorney general to declare the search giant to be of public utility, according to a petition filed Friday.
Ohio Attorney General Dave yost (R) filed a lawsuit in June, arguing that the Silicon Valley giant has used its dominance to prioritize its own products in a way that “intentionally puts its competitors at a disadvantage.”
Google’s lawyers argue in the petition that the search giant does not meet the state’s requirements to be considered a common carrier.
âThe Ohio complaint incorrectly assumes that Google Search is a public operator or a utility because the people of Ohio choose to use Google Search. Under Ohio law, common carriers charge a fee for providing standardized service, and utilities are regulated by a set of state regulations. Google has none of these attributes, and there is no legal basis for concluding otherwise, âthe motion states.
Read more here.
NEW POLICY: Airbnb said on Friday it would no longer require sexual assault or sexual harassment complaints from hosts or guests to go through its arbitration process, allowing alleged victims to sue the company directly.
âWe believe survivors should be able to file claims in whatever forum is best for them. We encourage our industry peers within the travel and hospitality space to consider taking similar action for their respective communities, âthe short-term rental company said in a blog post.
The updated terms of service are expected to go into effect “in the fall,” according to the company.
Airbnb said the change “will codify a practice” it has already had in place for a few years.
Learn more about the update.
An editorial to chew on: Rare bipartisan consensus on innovation must lead to increased NSF support
Lighter click: a total stair pro
REMARKABLE LINKS ON THE WEB:
Zillow, other tech companies are in a ‘Arms race’ To buy American homes (Motherboard / Maxwell Strachan)
Deletion unethical datasets is not good enough (MIT Tech Review / Karen Hao)
UK finally got Big Tech to strengthen the privacy of adolescents (Protocol / Ben Brody)