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How to Think About Tech Regulation

Eakinomics: How to Think About Tech Regulation

Today AAF releases How to Think About Tech Regulation, a volume of essays edited by AAF’s Will Rinehart, and on Tuesday AAF will sponsor a companion event on Capitol Hill. The volume and event are important for three separate reasons.

First, the issue is extremely timely. As Rinehart notes, during 2018 the New York Times released a report detailing how the marketing firm Cambridge Analytica exploited Facebook’s consumers leading up to the 2016 presidential campaign, the long-awaited European General Data Protection Regulation came into effect, the Supreme Court ruling in Ohio v. American Express marked the first time the Court directly addressed the economics of platforms, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was introduced and passed within a week. These events could spur congressional action, and they certainly ensure a central role for tech regulation in the 2020 campaign debates.

Second, the questions are hard, and the volume helps readers to think about the expansive policy challenges the country faces. The unifying theme that arises from the essays is the need to ensure that regulation does not unnecessarily undercut the incentives for innovation. It is critical to understand how legislative proposals either encourage or inhibit innovation.

Finally, the volume displays the cutting-edge thinking of the next generation of tech thinkers. Their ideas and efforts will form the foundation of policy toward privacy, artificial intelligence, and myriad other tech issues in the years to come. It is a privilege for AAF to bring them together in these efforts.

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Fact of the Day

The average tax refund for the 2019 tax season is up $40 over the 2018 tax season.