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The Switchboard: Amazon asks FAA for drone exception

Could you be getting these by drone sooner than you think? (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

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Amazon wants an exemption from the FAA’s drone restrictions  "In a filing to the agency this week, Amazon says that it's made tremendous strides with its drone technology. It's now working on eighth- and ninth-generation copter designs, just three months after the company's chief executive, Jeff Bezos, told shareholders Amazon was drawing up plans for its seventh-gen drone," writes The Washington Post's Brian Fung. The majority of the filing is "devoted to Amazon's main purpose, which is two-fold: To get permission from the FAA to put its drones in the air, and to be able to test them at its own research facilities in Washington state rather than having to visit one of the six test sites that the agency approved late last year. "

AT&T slowly expanding “Toll-Free” data trial, but still no big-name customers "AT&T grabbed a lot of attention back in January when it announced plans to offer companies the option to pay for data used by their customers. Since then? Crickets," reported Re/Code's Ina Fried. But now AT&T is signing up some partners, the report said. "Seattle-area startup Syntonic Wireless is announcing on Thursday that it is now a part of the AT&T effort and plans to launch a sponsored content marketplace that will allow smartphone owners to see a range of available content that won’t count against their monthly data cap." E-commerce and content sites have shown the most interest so far, the report said.

We need to talk about the right to be forgotten So says Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, who wrote a column for the The Guardian that " search engines across Europe face a new challenge – one we've had just two months to get our heads around." Drummond described Google's early process for screening out search results and outlined all of Google's objections but also said, " we obviously respect the court's authority and are doing our very best to comply quickly and responsibly."

Samsung Electronics looks into child labor allegations at China supplier "Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday said it is investigating an allegation that a supplier in southern China used child labor," reports Reuters' Se Young Lee. "U.S. activist group China Labor Watch on Thursday released a report alleging that Dongguan Shinyang Electronic Co Ltd, a supplier of mobile phone covers and parts, hired child labor for its assembly lines."

FTC sues Amazon over children’s in-app purchases 
"Federal regulators announced Thursday they have filed a lawsuit against for allegedly making it too easy for children to make purchases when using mobile apps without a parent's permission," reports The Washington Post's Cecilia Kang. "Amazon, whose chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post, did not immediately respond to the lawsuit. But a spokeswoman pointed to a letter sent to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez saying the decision was "deeply disappointing" and that the firm has improved its controls since the Amazon app store was first launched in 2011."

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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Brian Fung · July 11, 2014

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