Opeds

Retail Apocalypse or Retail Revolution?

Pointing to high-profile bankruptcies and empty store windows, some analysts say we are witnessing a “retail apocalypse.” But a deeper dive into the latest earnings reports and retail trends suggests we’re seeing something entirely different: a retail revolution.

The rise of e-commerce has upended the retail ecosystem, but the future is not e-commerce. Instead, traditional retailers and e-commerce firms are racing to meet evolving consumer expectations for seamless omnichannel retail experiences.

For many traditional retailers, 2017 was a big year for investment and experimentation, and the winners were those who merged physical and e-commerce platforms into a seamless consumer experience.

Read More at Morning Consult

Don’t Assume the Supreme Court Will Open the Door For New Internet Taxes

Don’t Assume the Supreme Court Will Open the Door For New Internet Taxes

State tax collectors are counting on a vote from Justice Thomas to put them over the top. Knowing that Justice Thomas isn’t a fan of the dormant commerce clause, one of the many issues at play in Wayfair, these tax-advocates are already counting his vote.

Too bad they haven’t looked back more than a couple of years. If they did see what Thomas, Kennedy, and Scalia all agreed in Quill, these tax advocates would realize that Thomas may not help them, and in fact, Kennedy might not either.

For a Smooth Ride, e-Scooter Providers and Cities Need to Get Along

For a Smooth Ride, e-Scooter Providers and Cities Need to Get Along

America’s tech industry has embraced the idea of permissionless innovation, where new online business models set up operations without requesting approval from public officials. That’s how eBay revolutionized the way people sell their stuff, and it’s how sharing economy businesses became a great way for Americans to rent their own homes and cars to travelers.

To be sure, permissionless innovation has brought new waves of competition and consumer choice. But sometimes those waves wash right over public officials, raising their skepticism and scrutiny. We’ve already seen the pitfalls of permissionless innovation when some businesses placed their bikes and scooters on city streets.

Read More at National League of Cities’s CitySpeak

A Primer For CONFUSED Conservatives On The First Amendment And Free Speech On Social Media

For those conservatives fully aware of how the First Amendment works and who still call for government action against Facebook, I just say: Cut it out. The solution for conservatives’ concerns about social media platforms is to vote with your feet and use a different platform. Stick to your principles and forget about the temporary insanity of arguing to expand government regulation.

Conservatives value a strict adherence to principles because of what can happen when a society drifts from its core values. It’s crucial they remember these principles in the age of the internet.

As President Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Government regulation of free speech online would not safeguard the future of conservative speech. It would endanger it.

Read more at The Daily Caller

Virginia Supreme Court ruling on license plates creates dangerous speed bumps for law enforcement

A license plate number would not be “personal information” because there is nothing about a license plate number that inherently “describes, locates or indexes anything about an individual.” Without something connecting the license plate number to an individual, it is just a combination of letters and numbers that does not describe, locate or index anything about anyone.

SORRY, CONSERVATIVES: You Don’t Have Free Speech On Facebook Or Twitter

If a business decides to favor your point of view, you would likely see that as a good thing and spend more time on that platform. Conversely, you would be less likely to spend time on the opposing platform. But at the end of the day, businesses must be allowed to do as they see fit. And as users, if we don’t like something, we can simply go somewhere else, allowing the market to pick winners and losers.

Read More at the Daily Caller

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What’s this really about?

So rather than blame technology for election outcomes and call for more regulation, let’s start by seeing this incident for what it is: a university researcher who breached his contract has made it harder for anyone to ever again do good work using data from Facebook public profiles.

Media Corporations Want to Control Your Newsfeed

We now live in a golden age of information and news, but if you talk to the big media companies, they see access to other content as a direct threat to their profits. These big newspapers want to return us to the dark age of information where they have the power to control the news that you see and drive-up their profits… Read more

Why would anyone oppose positive steps to stop sex-trafficking?

Why would anyone oppose positive steps to stop sex-trafficking?

This week, Sen. Wyden introduced two commonsense amendments to the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). Wyden’s first amendment adds dedicated funding for law enforcement to fight sex-trafficking. Wyden’s second amendment helps platforms take-down content related to sex-trafficking… Read more->

What is the RTPA, and why does NetChoice oppose it?

What is the RTPA, and why does NetChoice oppose it?

The internet has truly changed how we buy and sell products and services. Many businesses have no physical stores, yet consumers anywhere can find these businesses online. The impact of e-commerce has been truly revolutionary for buyers and sellers alike. At the same time, states have grown increasingly concerned about one aspect of e-commerce… Read more>

Remembering the Lessons of Right to be Forgotten — A Ruling for Crooks, Felons, and Malpractitioners

Remembering the Lessons of Right to be Forgotten — A Ruling for Crooks, Felons, and Malpractitioners

Last month, Google released an updated transparency report on the impact of the EU’s notorious “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) ruling made almost four years ago. This controversial policy requires Google to take down search results when EU citizens demand it. While these requests for censoring must meet a set of criteria, we’ve seen these requests abused resulting in suppression of valuable information… Read more 

For Some It’s Trial-Bar First, Victims of Sex Trafficking Second

What if there was a bill that would make it easier for federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute sex-traffickers?

What if the bill applied to sex-traffickers in back-alley streets or back-alley websites?

What if the bill provided victims with automatic compensation, saving victims the pain and cost of a civil trial?

What if the bill had the support of law enforcement groups like: the FBI Agents Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys? Read more

Steve DelBianco speaks at State of the Net

Steve DelBianco spoke about the future of multi-stakeholder governance.

Watch here

Stopping Sex Traffickers Online and on our Streets

Now is the Time to Pass the Congressional House Bill, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA)

Thursday is National Human Trafficking Awareness day, to raise concern about one of the most heinous crimes occurring here and abroad. This modern-day sex slavery must be stopped.

This means that we must arm law enforcement and prosecutors with the legal tools to take actions against sex trafficking criminals.

To that end, Congressman Ann Wagner and Chairman Bob Goodlatte sponsored the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) — legislation designed to give state, local, and federal prosecutors new ways to take down and imprison sex traffickers — whether they are selling on our streets or over the internet. Read more

Innovation and success must remain our economic foundation

If there is one word that could sum up the current political climate, it is frustration. And that frustration takes many forms.

There are, understandably, many Americans who feel frustrated about being left behind in the internet era, and fearful of being swamped by waves of emerging technologies.

But we also have many old-economy companies and bureaucrats who view new-economy businesses as a threat to their decades-long dominance of certain markets. And these legacy companies are doing everything they can to protect their privileged position in established markets.

READ MORE at The Hill

Don’t Surrender Free Speech in Effort to Regulate Online Political Ads

There has been much speculation about the online advertisements placed by Russian agents in last year’s presidential election. Was this a plot to swing the outcome? Or was it an effort to create chaos and divide our country?

Whatever the reason, there is one thing we can all agree on: foreign meddling in the domestic affairs of the United States cannot be tolerated and must be stopped.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

Innovation for America — But not for Illinois

Individual privacy is important, and Illinois should continue to enact legislation that protects our state’s consumers. However, when class-action attorneys abuse Illinois’ privacy laws to create new laws that will only enrich themselves, Illinois residents will be the ones left out as the rest of country’s technology advances.

For example, Illinois residents cannot use several home-security cameras with facial recognition to know when their children arrive home safely from school. They also cannot use facial recognition to tag and find friends and family members in personal photos stored on Amazon Photos.

READ MORE at State-Journal Register

Halt ticket scams

Last month, U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, of Lycoming County, encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to review the practice of “white label” or “private label” ticket reselling.

These programs use deceptive web page address and aggressive search engine advertising to prey on consumers, often leading them to overpay for seats for concerts and sporting events. The sites — operated by a handful of unscrupulous companies — exist exclusively to rip off consumers. The FTC must take action.

READ MORE at Times-Tribune

Keeping self-driving cars off the road is costing American lives

Last year was the deadliest on American roads in a decade — even as cars have never been safer. In 2016, 40,000 Americans died because of automobile accidents. That’s 100 Americans each day. That’s one death every seven minutes.

In most any other context, we would call this an epidemic and call on our resources to address this dilemma. Unfortunately, some are resisting the best solutions to this epidemic and trying to stop it with illogical arguments.

Human error is to blame for 93 percent of car accidents. So, the best solution is to look for ways to make us all better drivers — or perhaps make it so we don’t have to drive at all.

That’s why it’s so important that we clear the roads for development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles or as they are more commonly known, self-driving cars.

READ MORE at Hill