This is the first time the ETF has hosted the presidents of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communication Commision (FCC), and CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro was the speaker in a conversation that was intended to be candid against a backdrop of Rapid technological changes, with direct questions and answers in a one-on-one dialogue, but despite some provocation, some of the big themes were the “elephant in the room”, not being addressed by either party.
Privacy, regulation in this area, and an interest in more modern, federal legislation that spans all states began the conversation with Joseph Simons, president of the FTC three years ago and coming to CES for the first time. The executive said he is concerned about ensuring the ability of companies to compete in a free market, but paying attention to consumer protection.
“We want to make legislation so as not to reduce competition and we are concerned with laws that can empower larger companies, disadvantage small players, and there is evidence that RGPD is doing this in Europe. that happens, ”said the president of the FTC.
He believes that the fact that the world's largest technology companies are located in the United States is no coincidence, and that this is due to a favorable economic environment that promotes competition and innovation.
"We are not going after companies because they are big and successful, they have to do some breach," said the FTC president who has been leading some investigations into companies like Facebook, fined € 5 billion, and Google. .
The FTC has a technology working group that is investigating Facebook and “we want to do it carefully,” said Joseph Simons, but the organization is also looking at mergers and health care issues. , some of the areas it has given priority.
And how can companies know when they are "stepping on the risk"? “At FTC we do not advise, but we share guidance, and we will have a kind of technology guide on how we investigate,” he said, without specifically mentioning security and privacy issues or breaching competition rules.
From the end of internet neutrality to 5G leadership
Following the conversation with the FTC President, it was the turn of Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, to answer the CTA President's questions in an equally relaxed and provocative manner. The blockade of Huawei, and the ability of the technology to sue the FCC, were not part of the discussion.
Internet neutrality, and the imposition of the end of the measure in the United States against the communications industry lobby was the first topic addressed, and Ajit Pai admitted that it generated a lot of hatred on social networks, especially on Twitter, but that two years later Having broken the Internet neutrality rule that had been imposed by the Obama administration, it can be seen that "the sky has not fallen."
“We make a positive balance. Speed has increased, there is more broadband investment, more high-speed connected homes and more connected Americans, ”he says, noting that there were a lot of people saying this would be the end of the Internet.
The focus now is on 5G and technologies like WiFi 6 that can give Americans more network quality. “It's a national priority (…) The United States wants to lead in the fifth mobile generation and we believe the development and innovation model will be based on mastering these technologies,” he says.
Regarding security issues, the FCC president says this is one of the focuses because 5G technology brings new challenges in protecting networks and information. “We are working with partners in various countries to talk about the issue,” he explained, saying that he has had international meetings and that in spring he wants to have approved framework proposals that can be applied in a common way in all countries that agree.
“We are going to have an equipment risk profiling framework, independent of the manufacturer, and we want to extend this to other countries,” he says, without ever mentioning Huawei, who was also never part of the topics raised by CTA.
Despite the economic and technological embargo on Huawei, which prevents US companies from negotiating with Chinese technology and whose final decision is now delayed until February 2020, the company is once again one of the exhibitors at CES, where it shows smartphones and other equipment. , but not telecommunications infrastructure technology.
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