FCC, FTC Minority Commissioners Plan 5G Field Hearing

Democratic FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks and Democratic Federal Trade commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter will team up for a March hearing on 5G, Big Data, privacy, AI and their impact on civil rights and marginalized communities.

Both commissioners are minority members of their respective Republican majority commissions.

The March 16 hearing will be March 16 in Detroit and feature Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), according to Starks' office.

"The promises of an unprecedented level of connectivity with the deployment of 5G and sophisticated algorithms that utilize massive amounts of data are likely to transform the way we live, work, and play," Starks office said in a statement. "The highest levels of connectivity cannot and should not be reserved for the few; the benefits of 5G technology must meet the needs of all Americans, including low-income people, people of color, people living with disabilities, people residing in rural communities, children, and the many ways in which those identities intersect."

They said that connection is half the battle. "When these Americans are connected, we must simultaneously work to minimize the privacy harms and other data abuses that may disproportionately fall on marginalized communities and particularly vulnerable populations, such as children." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.