The Circuit: Cybersecurity, Facebook, digital tools in schools

LEADING THE DAY: The House subcommittee on cybersecurity will mark up the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersercurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness (PrECISE) Act, which has provisions to secure infrastructure, such as utility grids and financial services systems, from cyberattack.

The bill would task the Department of Homeland Security with assessing threats to these systems and create a separate, quasi-governmental office to coordinate information between the private sector and the government.

Facebook filing for IPO?: Facebook is expected to file its S-1 paperwork Wednesday in preparation to become a publicly traded company. Of particular interest to policy wonks should be the section of the filing on possible risk factors, which could include privacy legislation or regulation.

Facebook recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy concerns, which could help it as the social network as it heads into its IPO. But Facebook executives have expressed concerns that privacy legislation could hamper innovation.

Digital tools in schools: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will talk about how best to pull American schools into the digital age at the Newseum in Washington on Wednesday.

The town hall event will profile teachers around the country who are effectively using technology in the classroom and will also feature a video from Sal Khan, the founder of the YouTube-based Khan Academy, which enables educators and others to produce lessons for the Web.

Microsoft targets Google with ads: Capitalizing off of the backlash Google is facing over the company’s new privacy policy, Microsoft is rolling out new ads saying that the company provides more privacy choices. Microsoft, which is trying to compete with Google in the smartphone and tablet markets, says that it’s not as interested in collecting data for behavioral advertising.

Lawmakers say Google questions remain: Lawmakers said Tuesday that they still have questions regarding Google’s privacy policies after receiving an explanatory letter from the company.

Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said they had lingering concerns about the policy, particularly about whether the company will allow its account holders to opt out of data collection and integration between its services. Stearns praised Google for responding quickly and simplifying its policies but said that he would like Google to brief lawmakers before the policy goes into effect March 1.

In his statement, Markey said that while he understands that integrating data makes good business sense for Google, the policy “undermines privacy safeguards” in place for consumers.

In the firm’s letter, Google’s director of public policy, Pablo Chavez, acknowledged the lawmakers’ concerns.

“Some have expressed concern about whether consumers can opt out of our updated privacy policy,” Chavez wrote. “We understand the question at the heart of this concern. We believe the relevant issue is whether users have choices about how their data is collected and used.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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