At the end of last year, the Financial Times’ Innovation Editor John Thornhill raised an intriguing question about the extent to which Europe is seeking to define a ‘third way’ in technology regulation that sets it apart from the predominantly libertarian and authoritarian approaches in the US and China respectively.
While many see Theresa May’s regular battles with both wings of her party as the government lurching from crisis to crisis, it is starting to look more like a deliberate strategy. What does this tell us about Downing Street’s strategy for the negotiations with the EU?
Are large online businesses paying their fair share of tax? This was the question debated on Tuesday 27 March by MPs in Westminster Hall, the small debating chamber in Parliament.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech yesterday to the World Economic Forum in Davos saw her repeat calls for international action to regulate aspects of the tech sector that are disrupting the established economic players and norms.
2016 has built on the momentum of the Paris Agreement. But the election of Donald Trump in the US has placed question-marks over whether this momentum can be maintained, or if recent progress will be derailed. At the conclusion of COP 22 in Marrakesh, this analysis piece considers the state-of-play and the prospects for 2017.
2015 was a significant year for climate and energy policy and markets: from the momentous Paris agreement to Obama’s continuing push on the Clean Power Plan; from the new British Government’s fresh (and controversial) energy approach to, at last, some stability for the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which may have real implications for the longer-term.
The issue of deforestation and forest degradation, as explained in our previous analysis piece, has to be addressed urgently by donor and tropical forest countries alike. At present, these governments face the challenge of creating new regulatory frameworks to protect the world’s tropical forests. This, however, cannot be achieved without the collaboration of the private sector, a non-state actor which will play a key role in this process.
Goldman Sachs received an $800,000 fine from US regulators a fortnight ago for failing to meet the guidelines for trading within a private forum. Private trading platforms, commonly known as dark pools, now account for 15% of all US trading over 40 closed exchanges. Regulators are beginning to take note and see how they can limit the risk involved.
About a year ago, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon were testing unmanned drones – called Octopers – to start delivering packages to customers in five years’ time. This announcement gave Amazon a PR boost; and was perhaps also initiated in the hope of raising awareness around businesses being given authorisation to use drones commercially.
According to the US drone industry, regulation is necessary for it to be profitable, as current regulations in most jurisdictions prevent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from flying over densely populated areas.
Following a revised subpoena from the New York state Attorney General requesting the personal details of hosts who use Airbnb for short-term rentals, both sides have reached an agreement. Under the agreement Airbnb will provide the Attorney General with anonymised aggregate data on their hosts in New York. This data will initially not include names, addresses or other personally-identifiable information.
A bill regulating ridesharing services is expected to be imminently signed by Colorado State Governor John Hickenlooper. This would make him the first US State Governor to sign into law such a bill. Whilst California was technically the first State to regulate the industry (its rules were created by the State’s Public Utilities Commission), Colorado’s rules are set to be the first crafted and enacted by elected State representatives. The bill will allow provide certainty for ridesharing companies who faced formal complaints from the State’s Public Utilities Commission, which maintained that they were operating illegally.
In a hugely significant development yesterday telecom regulators in the United States voted to proceed with net neutrality rules. Amid protests the vote was passed with three commissioners of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voting in favour and two voting against. Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, said that "the consideration we are looking at today is not about whether the internet should be open but how and when we have rules in place to ensure an open internet."
New York State regulators have re-issued a subpoena against Airbnb only a day after the courts dismissed a request against the short-term rental company.
The short-term rental company Airbnb made waves when it announced that it will start collecting San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax from its guests in the city. And while this may be a first step in assuaging critics, it probably won’t be the last. It’s no secret that San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is working on regulations for short-term rental companies like Airbnb, but on Wednesday a representative from Chiu’s office offered more specifics about what those regulations will likely include.
New rules for unregulated rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar passed the Illinois House on Thursday over complaints the push was aimed at stifling competition to the state’s powerful taxi industry.
The chamber voted 80-26 to support legislation sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, who described his measure as a “comprehensive, thoughtful” consumer-protection step.
“We want to ensure licensure. We want to ensure insurance coverage, and we want to ensure safety of our constituents,” Zalewski told his House colleagues.