CalMatters is a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Posted By CalMatters

Sep 15

Commentary: State Should Issue RFP for Broadband Access

“Asking the major service providers to step up has failed, and California, as the fifth-largest economy in the world, should not have to run around, tin cup in hand, begging for broadband.”
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Sep 1

CPUC Fires Top Executive; Stebbins Claims It's Retribution

The news from Monday's CPUC meeting comes a month after a state investigation found that the commission hired 17 of Alice Stebbins’ former co-workers — in some cases over more qualified candidates in appointments of “highly questionable legitimacy.”
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Aug 3

Commentary: Governments Over-Reaching on Transportation Data

Los Angeles and other California cities "want data that the police would need a warrant to get." Los Angeles has been taken to federal court on this exact issue, but a trial has yet to begin.
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Jul 20

Commentary: Emerging Tech Can Help State Fight Looming Wildfire Threat

California’s electrical grid is getting cleaner, but it is still not well-positioned to deal with a changing climate with its web of decades-old poles and wires. Fortunately, a suite of established and emerging technologies can effectively advance the dual goals of reliability and decarbonization.
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May 19

Commentary: Online Investment Vital for Community College Students

"As classes and student services are transitioned online, colleges are in need of a cohesive online infrastructure that supports students, faculty and staff. California needs to continue to invest in community colleges and students ... ."
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May 15

Commentary: Contact Tracing Shows Data's 'Potential for Good'

"As elected officials focus on economic recovery, they should consider the tectonic shifts that have occurred over the last three months and assign greater value to policies that promote the good use of data along with appropriate considerations for personal privacy," writes Gary Mangiofico.
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Apr 28

Could Coronavirus Test State's Commitment to Privacy?

This report from CalMatters poses the question, "With contact tracing apps in the works, how much personal data are you willing to trade away for a return to life as it was before the pandemic?"
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Mar 30

Commentary: The Time Is Right to Back Online College

As the coronavirus social isolation net tightens, college professors and students face an unprecedented challenge. How do they continue teaching and learning when school buildings have closed?
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Mar 23

Are Colleges Tech-Ready for Online Learning?

Thanks to the novel coronavirus, California is about to embark on an enormous unplanned experiment in remote learning — and no one knows how long it will last. The first challenge is simple: making sure everyone can log on.
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Feb 27

Commentary: Fong Says AB5 Stifles Entrepreneurial Innovation

"Californians are free-spirited by nature. They want flexibility to support themselves and their families as they see fit. So why do the Democrats in the Legislature want them all to work for corporations?"
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Feb 21

How the Tech Caucus Is Courting Silicon Valley with Charity

The Foundation for California's Technology and Innovation Economy asks for thousands of dollars for admission to its annual policy summit with lawmakers. Who's paying? It won't say.
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Jan 22

Commentary: New Law Gives PUC Power to Right ISP Wrongs

For the past three decades, Internet service providers, and their predecessors, phone companies, have successfully waged a war to deregulate their industry. Regulation, they argue, will stifle innovation. That may have been true 30 years ago. But now, the only innovation we see is ISPs coming up with new ways to charge you more while delivering less.
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Nov 19

Commentary: San Jose Mayor Backs Customer-Owned PG&E

"Mayors and other local leaders throughout California have banded together to publicly urge exploration of an alternative model: a customer-owned utility."
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Oct 28

Pilot Program for Fire Detection, Prediction Uses Data, Eyes in Sky

In the state’s new landscape of more frequent and more ferocious fires, it takes a village to combat the menace: private technology, state and local fire agencies and computing know-how at California’s universities.
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Sep 30

Force Behind CCPA Readies New Privacy Initiative

The advocate, who drove creation of the California Consumer Privacy Act, said: “Now it is the time to push for even more rights for privacy.”
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Sep 11

State Senate OKs Contractor Bill; Assembly and Newsom Approval Likely

With state Senate approval, the bill regulating contractor employment is expected to clear the Assembly, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has signaled that he'll sign it. It includes postponements for newspapers, physical therapists and the timber industry, among others. It's important to the IT industry because it deals directly with independent contractors.
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Aug 1

Commentary: LinkedIn’s Privacy Policy Troubles State Librarian

Most sellers of physical or digital information to libraries respect the primacy of user privacy. To maintain the community’s trust, library vendors must adhere to the same code of ethics librarians employ every day. At the moment, LinkedIn is violating that ethical code and the policies set forth by the American Library Association.
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Jul 10

Commentary: DMV Will Accept Credit Cards — But at a Cost

For years, the DMV has not charged a fee when customers use Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover to make online payments or at self-serve DMV kiosks. That's apparently about to change.
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Jun 21

Commentary: Can Newsom Fix the State's Technology Troubles?

While the governor and his backers express confidence in the new Office of Digital Innovation, some observers remain skeptical as to what the office can actually accomplish, given entrenched bureaucracy.
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Mar 4

Data Privacy Flashpoints: Enforcement and Party Lines

The dynamic could force lawmakers to choose between constituents, who overwhelmingly feel they have lost control of how their personal information is collected and used, and business interests who argue that broad privacy protections could fundamentally damage the Internet economy.
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Oct 16

Analysis: DMV's Troubles Linked to Glitchy Tech, User Errors

The California Department of Motor Vehicles gave the public a series of piecemeal explanations as it acknowledged making more than 100,000 errors in recent months in registering Californians to vote. Software problems, it said in May. Human errors from toggling between computer windows, it said in September. Data entry mistakes that were corrected but never saved, it said this month.
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