Washington Examiner – DC Council Should Give Residents a Break, Not Big Hotel Chains

Washington Examiner – DC Council Should Give Residents a Break, Not Big Hotel Chains

“A crackdown on short-term rentals would allow companies like Marriott and Hilton to raise room rates even higher. Even worse, D.C. would need to spend more than $100 million to enforce these new regulations on residents — including losing tax revenue earned from short-term rentals.

Imagine what the District could do if it spent $350 million on affordable housing rather than on this new handout to big hotels.”

Tech goes to the races

NetChoice, a trade group that counts Facebook and Google as members, sees “a real threat and not in a good way with [a] Democratically controlled House in advancing federal privacy legislation,” said general counsel Carl Szabo, who fears Democrats will resist pre-emption.

Democrats brace for 'tug of war' with tech after midterms

NetChoice, a trade group counting Facebook, Google and eBay among its members, sees “a real threat and not in a good way with [a] Democratically controlled House in advancing federal privacy legislation,” said general counsel Carl Szabo. He said NetChoice is especially concerned Democrats won’t be as inclined as Republicans to preempt states from passing their own privacy laws, which would leave the industry with a patchwork of different rules.

Entrepreneurship’s Demise Has Been Grossly Exaggerated

Special interests inside the beltway are seeing political and financial opportunities in taking down America’s most successful businesses. Some are using it to mobilize votes from the “hipster antitrust” activists where others are using it to fundraise from business rivals.

One such group is the Open Markets Institute (OMI) who recently discovered a new war-cry, “big businesses are destroying entrepreneurs.”

At their recent conference, OMI repeated this misstatement. They argue the cause of this trend is the dominance of large tech companies. But their claims could not be further from the truth.

NetChoice Comments to California CDTFA In Advance of Discussion on Wayfair 

NetChoice Comments to California (CDTFA) In Advance of Discussion on Wayfair

Biometric Update – New York City Councillor to Propose Facial Recognition Disclosure Rules for Businesses

Biometric Update – New York City Councillor to Propose Facial Recognition Disclosure Rules for Businesses

Carl Szabo, Vice President of the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, says Texas and Illinois state laws requiring consent from customers for businesses to use facial recognition are too stringent, but that the increased transparency driven by Torres’ bill could ease consumer concerns about the technology.

Industry Comments to Universal Laws Commission on “Tort Law Relating to Drones Act”

Industry Comments to Universal Laws Commission on “Tort Law Relating to Drones Act”

Tech Policy Podcast – Techlash: What Do Americans Think?

Tech Policy Podcast – Techlash: What Do Americans Think?

The tech industry’s reputation has taken several hits in recent years over privacy breaches, allegations of bias, and concerns over election interference, causing a backlash in public opinion. But exactly how severe in this “techlash” among American consumers? What do they think government’s role should be in regulating the sector? A recent NetChoice poll attempts to answer these questions. The organization’s president and CEO, Steve DelBianco, joins the show to discuss the poll’s results.

“Palm Beach County Short-Term Rental Ordinance is Unconstitutional and Undermines Homeowners’ Personal Privacy”, NetChoice Says

October 15, 2018 – Efforts by Palm Beach County to regulate short-term rentals (STRs) infringes on the constitutional rights of homeowners, invades the privacy of county residents and undermines a vital economic engine to the local economy, NetChoice filed in legal testimony today.

Proposed Ordinance 95-30 would require online STR platforms, like Homeaway, Airbnb and VRBO, to disclose user data to the government or face liability requirements.

NetChoice believes the ordinance:

  • Violates the U.S. constitution.
  • Breaks federal Internet law.
  • Prevents local residents from earning extra income and would have wide-ranging negative impacts on the local economy.
  • Threatens the privacy of local residents.

“Palm Beach County is flaunting years of federal protections that have benefitted consumers and enabled the Internet to become a vital economic engine for local, state and national economies,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel for NetChoice. “The existence of short-term rentals in Palm Beach benefits local residents as much as it does tourists. STRs allow local homeowners to pay their mortgages and afford the added burdens of local taxes and hurricane insurance. Visitors save money by staying in STRs enabling them to have extra cash to spend at local restaurants and stores.”

NetChoice’s testimony detailed how Palm Beach’s proposed ordinance breaks the 4th amendment of the U.S. constitution, as it requires unreasonable search and seizure of personal information.  Further, the proposed ordinance also violates the Communications Decency Act,  which protects online platforms from being legally responsible for content posted by their users. The law’s existence has enabled consumers and businesses to conduct billions of dollars of commerce on the internet.