Quick Hits

*** A security clearance in one week? Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) thinks it can happen. Speaking at the IBM Think Gov 2019 conference, Hurd complained that the process is dragging out too long because of old ways of doing business.

"So really – do you think the person who lived next to me 10 years ago has a better insight into who I am than all the stuff I ever clicked on?" Hurd said. "Why are we doing security clearances the same way that we have for the last 100 years. I will say something -- everyone's going to say I'm crazy -- we should be able to do a security clearance in one week."

Hurd, who is ranking member on an Intelligence Committee subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness, says he expects hearings and bipartisan legislation on reforming the clearance process.

*** California Democrat and presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris is looking to help jumpstart digital services efforts at the state level. Her new bill – the Digital Service Act of 2019 – would give the head of the U.S. Digital Service the authority to disperse $15 million in grants to states and municipalities to carry out government service delivery projects. The bill also authorizes $50 million in annual funding for USDS to carry out its operations.

*** CenturyLink is the first of the nine suppliers for the General Services Administration's 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract to get the agency's go-ahead to provide service. GSA said the company was issued a three-year Authority to Operate on March 11. Other carriers are close behind in their quest for ATOs. As of March 6, GSA's back office systems testing status report showed CenturyLink at 94.2 percent complete. AT&T and Verizon showed 93.2 percent completion.

*** Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced a new bill to put "guardrails" on using way facial recognition technology for tracking consumers and limit sharing and re-sharing on the part of commercial users. The Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019 requires commercial users of facial recognition technology to notify the public where it is present and to obtain consent from consumers for any reuse of facial recognition data. The bill puts the Federal Trade Commission and the National Institute for Standards and Technology in charge of determining standards for data security, retention and minimization.

"Our bill makes sure that people are given the information and -- more importantly -- the control over how their data is shared with companies using facial recognition technology," Schatz said in a statement.

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