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Facial Recognition Gets Privacy Scrutiny and Beer-By-Drone Future Delayed

Welcome to National Journal's Tech Edge, a morning tipsheet with the news you need in technology policy, featuring a round-up of the best coverage and exclusive tips for the day ahead. Got this by forward? Sign up at

By Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)


TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The weeklong onslaught of data-security testimony wraps up with the Senate Banking Committee's oversight hearing on financial stability and data security at 10 a.m. The NTIA will begin to explore privacy safeguards for facial-recognition technology at its first multi-stakeholder meeting on the topic at 8:00 a.m. National Journal will host an event on the IP transition, featuring remarks by Tom Wheeler and a panel discussion with executives from Frontier, AT&T, and Cox and moderated by NJ president Bruce Gottlieb beginning at 8 a.m.


GOOGLE, EU STRIKE ANTITRUST DEAL: A long-running battle between Google and the EU over the search engine's search and advertising functions came to an end Wednesday with a settlement that absolves Google from any wrongdoing. The EU began investigating Google's search functions in 2012 after concerns were raised that the Internet company unfairly discriminated in favor of its own services. (Volz, NJ)

FACE IDENTIFYING APP UNDER SCRUTINY: An app for Google Glass that can identify strangers' faces is under scrutiny from Sen. Al Franken. The Senator sent a letter to NameTag telling the company it has a duty to protect individuals privacy. (Sasso, NJ)


FCC TAKES STEPS TO REFORM E-RATE: Tom Wheeler announced reforms to the school Internet program Wednesday during a Digital Learning Day event at the Library of Congress. As part of the administration's effort to expand high-speed internet in schools, the FCC will reprioritize how the agency spends E-Rate funds and restructure how the program is managed. (Ryan, NJ)

HOUSE HOMELAND PANEL OKs CYBER BILL: The House Homeland Security Committee voted unanimously Wednesday for a bill intended to better coordinate the government's cybersecurity efforts. Unlike attempts at cybersecurity legislation in 2012, the bill includes no new regulatory powers and has the support of civil liberties groups.

COMMERCIAL DRONES PUT ON ICE: That genius beer-by-drone delivery is going to have to wait longer than the Sept. 2015 deadline, according to the Department of Transportation inspector general. (Volz, NJ)


TECH ELITE FLEX MUSCLE IN CA RACE: Backed by many of Silicon Valley's tech executives, Ro Khanna has raised triple the amount as seven-term Congressman Mike Honda. (Norimtsu Onishi, NYT)


TWITTER OPENS DATA FOR RESEARCH: Twitter announced a new grant program that will make available the company's troves of historical, public data to research institutions and academics. (Twitter)

TARGET HACK'S POINT OF ENTRY IDENTIFIED: Sources tell security blogger Brian Krebs that the retailer had its network compromised via stolen credentials swiped from a Pennsylvania HVAC company. (Krebs)

UPTON RETHINKING DATA SECURITY: Rep. Fred Upton said Congress may need to approach data security "differently" in light of the recent breaches. (Volz, NJ)

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STEVE COHEN TAKING OVER FOR NADLER: The Tennessee Democrat was named ranking member of the House Judiciary's Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee, and he promised to work toward "curtailing government surveillance overreach" in his post. He replaces Jerrold Nadler of New York.

TWITTER LOSES ALTITUDE: The social-media darling had lackluster growth in its fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday, sending shares down 10 percent. (Gary Shih, Reuters)

CONGRESS SHOULD DETERMINE INTERNET POLICY:... according to three Republican senators. As Congress begins to reform the Communications Act, the senators make a case for why Congress, not the FCC, should set Internet policy. (Sens. Dean Heller, Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte, The Hill)

PATENT WOES FOR APPLE: Apple is hit with a $2 billion patent lawsuit from a German patent-holding firm over its cell-phone technology. (Friedrich Geiger, WSJ)

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY'S BOTTOMLESS STOMACH: Cisco's annual mobile broadband growth survey says that the explosion of wearable technology, like Google Glass, will increase mobile data consumption elevenfold by 2018. (Quentin Hardy, NYT)

MOTOROLA GETS NEW LOBBYIST: Robert Hoffman of the Information Technology Industry Council will lead the company's government affairs team starting next month. (Kevin Bogardus, The Hill)

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Love it - first thing I read in the morning."

Amy, VP of Communications

I read the Tech Edge every morning."

Ashley, Senior Media Associate

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