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CFI Committee Newsletter | March 2023

March 9, 2023

U.S. Senate

Congress Kicks Off Online Privacy Activity with Hearing on Protecting Children Online

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony recently from experts on policies and practices that are designed to protect children while using online platforms. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reintroduced the bipartisan Clean Slate for Kids Online Act, designed to allow individuals over age 13 to request the deletion of online information that was collected while they were under age 13. This bill marks the first privacy bill introduced in Congress in what is expected to be a major issue for legislators. 

U.S. Census Bureau

New Dashboard Helps Assess How Broadband Availability and Adoption Impact Local Economies 

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the ACCESS BROADBAND Act of 2021 charged the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to report on the economic impact of federal broadband investments on local economies, including any effect on small businesses or jobs. Together with the U.S. Census Bureau, the first release of the ACCESS Broadband dashboard is now available. 

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Some Large Banks Offering Affordable Small Loans to Customers with Lower Credit Scores 

Through changes in federal regulations to help consumers, six of the eight largest U.S. banks—measured by their number of branches—offer small installment loans or lines of credit to checking account customers with low or no credit scores. 

White House

White House Releases National Strategy, Renewing Commitment to Cybersecurity 

The White House released the National Cybersecurity Strategy with the intent to “secure the full benefits of a safe and secure digital ecosystem for all Americans.” The strategy, issued on March 1, represents the administration’s renewed commitment to collaborate with all levels of government, industry and citizens to “rebalance the responsibility for defending cyberspace” and “to make fundamental shifts in how the United States allocates roles, responsibilities and resources in cyberspace.” Through the work of its Cybersecurity and Privacy Task Force, NCSL is actively engaged with the administration to ensure these goals are aligned with those of the states. 

NCSL State Legislatures News

Security Concerns Top of Mind as 2024 Election Approaches 

As the 2024 general election draws closer, election security—both physical and cyber—is a top priority. NCSL asked election experts from left, right and center to identify their top security concerns, and what actions legislators might want to consider as they take up the topic in their states. 

North Carolina State University

Many Americans Lack Flood Insurance Despite Rising Risks 

With estimates of only 4% of homeowners having flood insurance nationwide, researchers at North Carolina State University have found that many homeowners are not aware of their property’s risk of flooding due to federal flood maps underestimating the risk of flooding. 

National Skills Coalition

Closing the Digital Skill Divide 

The digital divide exists in both access, the so-called homework gap and in digital skills training and upskilling. In partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the National Skills Coalition found that across industries, 92% of jobs require digital skills, but nearly one-third of U.S. workers do not have foundational digital skills. 

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