Midweek Policy Update

Startup Act 2.0 rolls out in the House, lawmakers worry about privacy for pre-teens, and the FCC releases research on potential alternatives to the spectrum management regime.

Startup Act 2.0
Members of Congress cosponsoring Startup Act 2.0 held a press conference today to show support for the bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives and Senate. Engine can connect you to your representative now to help put Washington to work for startups.

Lawmakers Ask Facebook About Under-13 Privacy. Representatives Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after a Wall Street Journal story reported that the social network is exploring ways for children under the age of 13 to access the platform. In the letter, the lawmakers suggest that the move would subject the company to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Congressmen also asked about parental controls, notifications, and consent should children use the network.

Advertising groups in Washington were also reacting to news that Microsoft’s next iteration of Internet Explorer will ship with default “Do Not Track” settings. The Direct Market Association faulted the planned move for deviating from industry practice and undercutting consumer choice, according to an association release. Groups have cited concerns that the move may disrupt W3C’s attempts to standardize Do Not Track mechanisms that advertisers and browser developers would accept.

The Federal Communications Commission issued a working paper exploring alternative market-based approaches to managing interference between wireless users. The paper, which was published June 5, highlights the commission’s evolving approach to conventional spectrum management rules. Questions regarding interference issues are playing a role in Verizon Wireless’ purchase of spectrum from a consortium of cable companies.