A key federal agency involved in testing the proposed LightSquared LTE 4G network has concluded that there is no practical way to solve interference between that network and GPS, possibly dealing a crippling blow to the startup carrier's hopes for a terrestrial mobile network.
In a memo released late today, the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee (PNT ExComm) said the nine federal agencies that make up the body had concluded unanimously that none of LightSquared's proposals would overcome significant interference with GPS (Global Positioning System).
LightSquared last year received a waiver from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowing it to operate a terrestrial LTE (Long-Term Evolution) 4G network on frequencies that have until now been devoted to much weaker satellite signals. But the FCC demanded that concerns over interference with GPS be resolved before the network could be launched.
Tests early last year found devastating interference to many GPS devices, so LightSquared modified its proposal. Further testing took place in November, and other tests had been expected to take place soon.
The PNT ExComm has been involved in testing and results analysis at the request of the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The body is headed by deputy secretaries of Defense and Transportation and represents other federal agencies and departments. It is charged with coordinating federal GPS activities. Read more...
A federal agency charged with protecting consumer rights is gathering information on the new uses of facial recognition in contexts such as social networks, digital signs, and mobile apps, and it's asking the public for help.
The move by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was prompted by a public workshop on facial recognition technology hosted by the agency earlier this month. Here are some of the issues the FTC would like the public to comment on.
- What are the current and future commercial uses for facial recognition technologies?
- How can consumers benefit from the technology?
- Should special considerations be applied to use of the technology on vulnerable populations, such as children?
- What best practices should be used when crafting notice and choice policies for use of the technology?
- Are there situations where notice and choice aren't needed? On the other hand, are there situations where the technology should not be used, even with notice and choice?
- Are notice and choice adequate to protect privacy when the technology is used, or are there other methods that are better for preserving privacy?
- What best practices should be used to protect consumer privacy when developing and deploying facial recognition technologies? Read more...