Hillicon Valley — FTC’s Khan plans ambitious year

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan outlined her priorities for the year in an interview with The Hill, highlighting the agency’s work on education technology, health care consolidation and merger guidelines.

In other technology news, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy sounded the alarm during a hearing Thursday on the risks of climate misinformation.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca KlarChris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Khan eyes expansive agenda

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan has a busy year ahead of her.

With the panel’s newly restored Democratic majority, the agency tasked with enforcing antitrust laws and protecting consumers is poised to tackle a diverse set of issues across the economy.

“As a general matter, we have a very active year ahead that’s planned,” Khan, who was picked by President Biden to lead the agency early in his term, told The Hill in an interview Wednesday.

“There are a whole set of major policy initiatives that we have underway that we’re expecting will come to fruition over this next year.”

Khan, 33, will be able to pursue those goals without necessarily having to win over Republicans on the panel, following the much-delayed confirmation of Alvaro Bedoya to the commission.

Read about her plans on privacy and competition.

Climate misinfo alarm

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy on Thursday said that the spread of false information about climate change is “absolutely” a threat to public health.

McCarthy made the comments as part of an interview for Axios’s event “The Infodemic Age” on Thursday.

Asked whether climate misinformation disseminated on social media represents a public health threat, McCarthy responded, “Absolutely,” adding “it’s not just an island, there’s also greenwashing,” referencing the practice of companies or institutions misrepresenting their work as environmentally friendly.

“The public health issue [is] one of the big challenges that we face, fossil fuel companies and climate change, posing a significant threat to public health,” McCarthy added. “Fossil fuels have actually created significant health challenges on our country, not just climate change, but we’re talking about pollution that’s impacting people’s lives. … We are talking about, really, risks that no longer need to be tolerated in our communities.”

Read more.

CEOS PRESS SENATE ON GUNS

CEOs of more than 220 U.S. companies are pressing the Senate in a new letter to take action on gun violence.

The letter, first obtained by Axios, calls for the senators to “take bold urgent action to address our gun violence epidemic.”

Citing recent deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., as well the 14 mass shootings that took place in between those incidents, the business leaders said the violence has “highlighted the lack of action” from the Senate.

“Among the affected are our employees, our customers, and the communities we work in” the CEOs wrote.

“We urge the Senate to take immediate action. Gun violence can be prevented. Our families, our communities, and our places of business are depending on you,” they added.

Signatories on the letter included leaders from tech companies such as Lyft, Yelp, Vimeo and Twilio.

Read more here.

UBER TEAMS UP WITH UN FOR UKRAINE

The World Food Programme (WFP) and Uber on Wednesday announced a partnership to deliver food and emergency assistance to people in urban areas in Ukraine.

“With larger vehicles facing issues reaching those in need in built-up areas, collaboration with Uber allows WFP to better coordinate, dispatch and track a fleet of smaller vehicles delivering relief items from warehouses to people in need in densely populated areas of Ukraine,” Uber said in a release announcing the partnership with the U.N. agency.

The partnership is already in effect as WFP has delivered food from a Dnipro warehouse to other areas using Uber. Now, the program also has a presence in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Chernivtsi.

“This technology helps WFP facilitate its response and improves how we serve communities in Ukraine that rely on us,” Matthew Hollingworth, a WFP emergency coordinator in Ukraine, said.

Read more here.

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Congress can prevent an over-regulated US digital economy. Here’s how

Lighter click: Word to the wise

Notable links from around the web:

Larry Elison’s Lanai Isn’t for You—or the People Who Live There (Bloomberg / Sophie Alexander)

Big Tech legislation sparks infighting at top U.S. legal organization (Politico / Emily Birnbaum)

Group aiming to defund disinformation tries to drain Fox News of online advertising (NPR / Bobby Allyn)

An Amazon Warehouse Worker’s Life Was Turned Upside Down After She Was Hospitalized for COVID (The Markup / Dara Kerr)

One more thing: Twitter agrees to give data

Twitter’s board will yield to Elon Musk’s demands that the company provide information on the number of fake accounts on the platform as his purchase of Twitter remains pending, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The agreement could help put Musk’s deal to acquire Twitter for $44 million back on track after the billionaire threatened to put the process “on hold” unless the company could prove that bot accounts make up less than 5 percent of all users.

The board will provide Musk its full data “firehose” of more than 500 million tweets posted daily, the Post reported, citing a person “familiar with the company’s thinking.” Axios also confirmed the data agreement.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

VIEW FULL VERSION HERE

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.