In a July post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was “open to working with members of Congress and anyone else” to protect net neutrality. It’s possible that meaningful collaboration is happening behind the scenes—the committee spokesperson told Gizmodo that the companies invited by the committee are participating in backchannel discussions—but it’s annoying that the conversation isn’t happening in a public hearing next week, especially given the overwhelming public interest . Ultimately the result is less transparency for the millions of citizens who’ve followed the net neutrality debate, all because the committee only wanted to speak to CEOs, and the CEOs, perhaps fearing the outcome of a public grilling, refused suck it up and testify.
It’s increasingly difficult to do anything on your phone nowadays without sharing your geolocation information. Certain Snapchat filters, Facebook status updates, Instagrams, and even text messages are all potentially tied to geolocation data. It’s relatively simple for app developers to build in geolocation functionality—and many services require users to opt-in to sharing location data. But now the state of Illinois wants ensure that all companies extracting geolocation data from individuals must provide an opt-in, or else they’ll have to pay up.