Working with COVID-19

Silicon Valley is full of firms that are tracking our movements and recording our contacts today. This is how Google and Facebook make a living, and they’re going to keep on doing it whether their datasets and computer power are used to sell ads or to protect public health.

March 23, 2020 0

Shane and Richard on Dominant Platforms and Market Power

So we have a number of issues that may or may not be lawful but are pretty clearly unfair and anti-competitive. What’s Congress going to do about platform power and competition? This question remains to be answered, but the podcast suggests a good way for it to start. 

January 23, 2020 0

With Friends Like Google…

A tip for the politicians of the future who want to address the markets for information and influence: don’t forget to buy your Google Ad Words or you’ll never get elected.

January 14, 2020 0

Is it Time to Reboot Internet Policy?

None of the proposals for ISP regulation or platform regulation currently in the mix are very good. If the Internet is good for anything, it’s a great disruptor. Is is too much to ask it to disrupt its own policy frameworks toward the goal of producing more of the good and less of the bad?

August 18, 2019 0

reCAPTCHA: I’m Not a Robot But I’m Not Sure About You

Google is not a charitable enterprise, and essentially all of its income is made by monetizing personal information. 

July 10, 2019 0

ICYMI: Remarks at Annual Phoenix Center Rooftop Policy Roundtable – Is Privacy Policy the Next Mattress Tag?

What we don’t need is something akin to the government’s mattress tag requirements – a bewildering agreement users blindly accept without understanding its purpose.

June 24, 2019 0

Emotion Threatens Reason in Tech Policy

Enjoying the benefits of ICT and the Information Age requires us to adopt new models of regulation that are fit for the task. For this to happen, we’ll need to stop demonizing every new invention for the sake of eyeballs, audience, and ad revenues.

August 24, 2018 0

Net Neutrality Lawmaking May Be Near

Finding sponsors to carry the bill may be troublesome before the mid-term, but a legitimate work product will be useful whenever Congress is of a mind to consider legislating. We may actually be closer to legitimate, regular Congressional action on Internet regulation than we’ve been since the summer of 2010.

August 3, 2018 0

Europe’s Piracy Dilemma

Their problem in the long tail of pirates, scammers, and amateurs who impose costs on the platform but don’t generate revenue. That’s a business model issue that should concern Alphabet. It’s not an excuse for making artists pay for YouTube’s content-related costs out of their own pockets to support piracy.

July 5, 2018 0

Don’t Ask Zuckerberg about Shadow Profiles

At a minimum, Facebook needs to reorganize the company in such a way that a single CEO can exercise effective control over its major pieces. An Alphabet-like reshuffling with a new level of management would at least signal seriousness about improvement.

May 22, 2018 0