Interesting Policy Reads: Neural Network Technology, OPMs, and a Failed Attempt to Expand Consumer Privacy Rights in California

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This post includes articles on an educational technology company acquisition, a recent congressional hearing featuring members of the Federal Trade Commission, and a legislative push to address robocalls.

With our "Interesting Policy Reads" blog posts, the EDUCAUSE Policy Office highlights recent articles on federal policy issues and developments that are directly relevant to members or provide insights on higher education policy in general.

  • End of the Line for Much-Hyped Tech Company, Inside Higher Ed, May 7, 2019. (Wiley has acquired adaptive learning educational technology company, Knewton.)
  • FTC Backs Tech Privacy Law to Protect User Data, The New York Times, May 8, 2019. (Members of the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] appeared before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee this month, where they petitioned Congress to strengthen the Commission's enforcement authority over user data.)
  • California Mulls Crackdown on Online Partnerships, Inside Higher Ed, May 9, 2019. (California state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would prohibit any private for-profit or nonprofit postsecondary education providers from entering into tuition-sharing arrangements with online program management companies or other academic service providers.)
  • Lobbyist Push to Get Robocall Bill across Finish Line, The Hill, May 9, 2019. (In light of a growing appetite among members of Congress, industry associations, and consumer groups to tackle unwanted robocalls, the Senate may consider legislation to beef up regulators' enforcement authority to address the issue.)
  • Drowning in Research Reading? AI Could Help, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2019. (Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] and the Qatar Computing Research Institute [QCRI] at Hamad Bin Khalifa University have developed neural network technology that is capable of reading scientific papers and producing associated summaries that are as brief as one or two sentences.)
  • Doing It Yourself: The 'Internal OPM' Model, Inside Higher Ed, May 15, 2019. (While the appropriate role of online program management companies [OPMs] has been the subject of contention in recent months, many institutions have not directly contracted with an OPM—meaning they are evaluating and planning their online efforts by different means.)
  • California Bill to Expand Privacy Protections Fails, Reuters, May 16, 2019. (Despite the state's newly enacted consumer data privacy law, California state senators blocked a proposed bill that would have expanded consumers' ability to sue companies over the handling of personal data.)

Kathryn Branson is an associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2019 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.