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California Business and Its Privacy Act, Trump and Silicon Companies, C-Band Spat

Masha Abarinova

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California businesses and legislators are pushing to change the California Consumer Privacy Act, San Francisco Chronicle reports. Dirk Lorenz, owner of Fremont Flowers, said that the law will affect not only big tech firms, but small businesses as well.

“It’s going to cost a good deal of money,” he said, “to put it on the backs of small business, it’s just very burdensome.”

Privacy proponents and industry groups have largely agreed that the CCPA requires more clarification before it takes effect in January 2020. However, a series of business-driven bills to amend it failed in the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

The law provides consumers broad new rights to control how their personal information is used and sold. Californians can tell businesses to stop selling personal information to third parties or they can request companies to delete it. The law applies to any company that has at least $25 million in revenue, makes at least half its money by selling data, or gathers information on at least 50,000 consumers.

The California Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest industry groups pushing to change the law.

“Folks want to go after those big tech companies, and that’s really what this law was written to do,” said Sarah Boot, a lobbyist for the chamber. However, that seems to be blinding people from the ramifications other types of businesses are going to face, she said.

One amendment that businesses groups have succeeded in advancing is AB1564, which would free smaller online companies from having to provide a toll-free number for submission of privacy requests.

Legislators “don’t realize that the cost of compliance is so high that it’s actually going to drive small businesses out of the competition,” said Aileen Luib, a lifestyle blogger in Moreno Valley.

President Trump meets with seven major chip companies and Google

Multichannel News reports that the White House provided some details on Monday about a meeting between President Trump and seven major tech firms. The White House said that the company CEOs had "expressed strong support of the President’s policies, including national security restrictions on United States telecom equipment purchases and sales to Huawei."

The companies that were represented included Micron, Western Digital Corp, Qualcomm, Google, Cisco, Intel and Broadcom.

Trump has made winning the race to 5G a national priority. The CEOs said they would like to see "timely" licensing decisions out of Commerce and expressed optimism about the state of U.S. 5G "innovation and deployments."

AT&T spat with C-Band Alliance plan for 3.7 GHz band of spectrum

Fierce Wireless reported that AT&T was critical last week of C-Band Alliance’s auction plan for spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. It contended that the proposed format is untested, excessively complex, and serves only to maximize profits for CBA’s four satellite operators.

The CBA’s proposed auction plan would offer nine blocks of 20 MHz across 406 Partial Economic Areas.

In a letter to the FCC, AT&T expressed disappointment that rather than offering a “straight-forward”, uniform price auction, CBA has “contrived an unproven, fiendishly complex yet structurally incomplete, second-price single-round sealed bid process.”

The carrier said that CBA’s proposal doesn’t provide for any price discovery because bidders have only one chance to submit a bid. AT&T supported the Federal Communication Commission’s “clock format,” where generic licenses are offered at a uniform price and participants bid the amount of blocks they would be willing to buy at that price.

This format, AT&T wrote, provides flexibility for bidders to expand into areas where demand is below their initial expectations, or retreat from areas where demand exceeds their initial expectations.

In response, CBA has said that its auction design would allow the alliance to announce winning bidders within two to four weeks and reduce bid preparation time. AT&T argued that this method ignores the “very substantial burden” placed on bidders to prepare for the auction, who would have to map out all possible variations for pricing.

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