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Now there are two

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday signed a comprehensive consumer data privacy bill, making the commonwealth the second state to implement such a policy. The new law, which will take effect in 2023, will allow Virginians to opt out of having websites collect or sell their personal information and ask those companies to see what data they’ve collected, with the option to edit or delete it. In doing so, Virginia follows California in offering its residents expansive protections from online data collection, but critics have charged that the Virginia law stops short by not giving individuals the right to sue companies that misuse their personal data. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Another civic tech merger

To capture a wider range of community sentiment on issues like public safety and public health, the Israeli data-analysis firm Zencity announced on Thursday it’s acquired the digital polling firm Elucd. Eyal Feder-Levy, the co-founder and CEO of ZenCity, told StateScoop his company will fold Elucd's polling technology into its platform, which uses machine learning to trawl social media, 311 feeds and news media to measure how a community feels about breaking news or emerging crises. Ryan Johnston has details.

NYC asks companies to expand broadband across the city

New York City wants the telecommunications industry to propose new ideas, technologies and service models that would bring the city closer to achieving universal broadband under the “Internet Master Plan” Mayor Bill de Blasio's office introduced last year. The city’s new request for proposals is open to virtually any telecommunications company interested in expanding broadband access within the city, and will cover about 600,000 New Yorkers, city officials said. “New Yorkers need internet connectivity to continue to live, work, and learn,” city CTO John Paul Farmer said in a press release. Ryan has more.

Buttigieg says U.S. has 'once-in-a-generation' transportation opportunity

The U.S. has a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to improve its transportation infrastructure under the Biden administration, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during an online event this week. But it appears maintaining the nation’s current rails, roads and bridges are a higher priority for the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor than testing out new technologies, describing a "fix it first" strategy to the Bloomberg CityLab conference. “When we’re contemplating paying a lot of attention or making a big investment in technology, the question has to be ‘what problem does this solve?’” he said. Ryan has this one too.

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