Congress is looking for a sensible solution to the dilemma over how to collect Internet Sales Tax in a fair and reasonable way. But the fatally flawed Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) introduced in June by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, is exactly the wrong way to do it.
This legislation would impose large costs on America’s small businesses, is amazingly complex to administer, and creates uncertainty and fear of intrusive government audits from 46 different state tax departments across the nation. Congress should find a better way – one that doesn’t favor big box retailers at the expense of small businesses in any corner of the country. Here’s why:
As a parent raising a child in the information age it’s really tough.
There is no book on how do it (Dr. Spock never had to deal with the Internet). There are no parental figures with experience raising a child in the age of the Internet. And sometimes our kids are more technologically adept than we are.
So we try to the best that we can with tools that we have available.
Unfortunately, because of well meaning but prescriptive laws and regulations, few tools exist. These rules scared off the development of tools and services to help parents and children. And that’s why I take umbrage with the recent negative statements about YouTube kids from advocates who don’t speak for all parents but want to remove tools to help my child. Read more
Privacy advocates are warning about the loss of public anonymity from face-recognition technology that’s ubiquitous thanks to Facebook and other software companies. We’ll hear about the risks… as well as the benefits.
Facial recognition technologies have been used for security and safety applications for years in the United States and abroad. Due to high costs and technological limitations, it was used mostly for homeland security to identify terrorists and protect airports. But over the past several years, facial technologies have evolved and reduced in cost, enabling the development of convenience applications to help us better connect with friends and loved ones and to organize our thousands of photos.
With cameras being attached to every phone, computer and tablet, along with virtually unlimited storage space, most of us now have photo collections numbering in the thousands. But much in the same way search engines made navigating the Internet easier, we need better ways to search through our photos to find the ones we seek.
For years the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banged the “privacy-by-design” drum – telling developers to build privacy into their apps and services – and avoided “gotcha” cases. But its latest action against Nomi Technologies (Nomi) suggests a change of heart.
Nomi embraced privacy-by-design. It built an in-store tracking technology with a universal opt-out for customers – an online opt-out used by hundreds of consumers. And Nomi avoided collecting any personal information about customers, recording only the MAC address of a device and immediately hashing the address so devices couldn’t be identified outside of Nomi’s system. This is the kind of “privacy-by-design” the FTC has been counseling companies to adopt since 2012.
When congressional allies of major retailers began advocating that a complicated nationwide Internet sales tax be imposed, it was a bad idea that Congress rightly rejected. Now they’ve come back with a modified version of their Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) – but doubling down on a bad idea doesn’t make it better; it’s still bad policy.
The argument against the Internet sales tax is simple: we shouldn’t empower tax collectors to try to force small businesses to collect sales tax for what could be 10,000 local jurisdictions, and file returns with 46 states. It would drown small businesses in red tape and leave them open to tax auditors from nearly every state.
Now, in an effort to reignite the debate, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is floating an amended MFA that would only complicate matters further.
Today’s Internet is in jeopardy as a global system. Post-Snowden, governments increasingly diverge on what kind of Internet ought to operate in their country. This is alarming to those who believe that how the unitary Net works has led to stunning economic progress and business transformation for everyone. Fadi Chehadé, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Steve DelBianco, NetChoice Miriam Sapiro, Summit Strategies International & The Brookings Institution Moderator: Gordon Goldstein
It’s no secret that competition in the market drives down consumer prices. But what if consumers can’t easily compare prices? Well according to a new study from Travel Tech, the reverse is true – prices go up.
The study found that if travelers can only get ticket prices and schedules from the airlines alone, it would cost consumers over $6 billion per year and 41 million travelers would be priced-out of flying. In essence, without the one-stop-shop for price comparison that Online Travel Agents (OTAs) like Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak offer, we would pay more for our tickets. Read more