Opeds

How Airbnb actually makes NYC affordable

The sharing economy is changing the way we work, live and play. But nowhere have we better seen the benefits of this change than in our transportation and travel. In just a few years, we’ve added Lyft, Uber and SideCar to our zeitgeist for rides and turned to Airbnb for housing when visiting a city.

We’ve lovingly termed this change “disruption.” It’s a disruption of industries that have remained relatively unchanged for decades and a disruption craved by us all. We’re turning our cars and homes into valuable assets and facilitating the type of customer experience we all want.

READ more at NY Post

Utah – Don’t Make a U-Turn Away from Ride-Sharing

Ride-sharing companies like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are transforming how we travel.  Everyday, ride-sharing provides Utahns with rides on demand via the press of a button and these rides come with the safety and security of knowing the driver’s name, photo, and ratings.  

These services allow Utah citizens to turn their car into a source of income. Their presence reduces traffic congestion and DUIs. And these services illuminated the inadequacies of a taxicab system that has not changed much since the introduction of the Model T.

But rather than looking in the mirror at their own deficiencies and taking the opportunity to improve, the taxicab monopoly has cried foul and decided to blame its troubles on the marketplace.  One of the biggest criticisms from the taxi industry is that ride-sharing companies are “playing by a different set of rules and regulations.”

Earlier this year, Utah passed SB 294 that created a common sense regulatory framework requiring ride-sharing drivers to comply with the same insurance requirements as taxis. 

READ More at Deseret News

Delaware Law To Hamstring Maryland Border Businesses

The border towns between the states of Maryland and Delaware are tremendously inter-twined.  The north-south portion of the Maryland and Delaware border forms the Mason-Dixon Line and the east-west Transpeninsular Line cuts across the Delmarva Peninsula where so many residents of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania enjoy some of the East Coast’s best beaches.

The Maryland-Delaware border has been a venue for historic disputes.  But in modern times, the border towns of the two states share commerce and customers from Newark, Del to Elkton, Md. and Ocean City, Md. to Fenwick Island, Del.

However, that could soon end as a new Delaware law will place burdensome regulations on Mom-and-Pop businesses, forcing those on the Maryland side to turn away Delaware consumers that use online technologies to place orders and make payments. Read more

Don’t punish victims while chasing online thieves

When Gov. Bruce Rauner was running for office, he talked a lot about his support for Illinois small businesses. He even used his inaugural address to describe how the state’s economic turnaround could begin with local businesses right here in Illinois.

In the coming weeks, Gov. Rauner will have a golden opportunity to make a meaningful impact in support of Prairie State small businesses. He should seize that chance and issue an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1833. Why? Because this proposed legislation expands the definition of data breaches to include ordinary sales and marketing information that threatens no one’s safety or security. In fact, it is so off the mark that not a single other state in the country would or has adopted a similarly overreaching measure – not even California.

READ More at Chicago Sun Times

Amendatory veto needed for Illinois’ small businesses

When Gov. Bruce Rauner was running for office, he talked a lot about his support for Illinois small businesses. He even used his inaugural address to describe how the state’s economic turnaround could begin with local businesses right here in Illinois.

In the coming weeks, Rauner will have a golden opportunity to make a meaningful effect in support of Prairie State small businesses. He should seize that chance and issue an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1833.

Why?

Continue reading at Northwest Herald

Steve DelBianco Speaks about ICANN and IANA at AEI Conference

More at: AEI – The DOTCOM Act: A roadmap for congressional oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition

Chaffetz Internet Sales Tax Bill Is Too Costly and Complex

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:

READ MORE at CFO

One Parent’s Support of YouTube Kids

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

Carl Szabo Speaks on NPR To the Point – Do You Really Own Your Own Face?

Visit NPR’s To the Point

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.

Facing transparency head-on

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.

Read more at The Hill

FTC Counsels Privacy-By-Design But Enforces by “Gotcha”

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.

But rather than crediting Nomi for its privacy-by-design technology, the FTC chose to prosecute Nomi for a non-material error in their privacy policy. Read more

Carl Szabo Speak about Facial Recognition on NPR’s On Point

The Computer Will (Literally) See You Now

Steve DelBianco Speaks at Techonomy Policy Event on ICANN

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

Watch the Video

When Airlines Hide their Prices We Pay an Extra $6 Billion

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

Governor’s veto puts Virginians’ safety first

Historically, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been tough on crime and placed a priority on the safety and well-being of its citizens. Virginia has strict laws regarding violent offenses like burglary, murder and sexual assault — without placing a statute of limitations on investigators and prosecutors trying to solve these crimes.

Virginia’s record of protecting its citizens continued when Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently vetoed legislation that would have greatly diminished the ability for Virginia law enforcement to solve crimes.

Senate Bill 965 and House Bill 1673 would have placed extreme limits on the ability of Virginia law enforcement to use all the tools available to serve and protect Virginians. The bills restricted law-enforcement use of license-plate-reader (LPR) data that is more than 7 days old — meaning any criminal investigation that is more than a week old will be much harder to pursue and prosecute.

READ MORE at Richmond Times Dispatch

iAWFUL Legislation 2015: Death, Taxes and Trade Secrets

iAWFUL Legislation 2015: Death, Taxes and Trade Secrets

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2015 — They say nothing is life is guaranteed except death and taxes. But now state legislators around the country are trying to open your private communications after you die, turn Internet retailers into tax tattle tales, and force trade secrets to be revealed to unauthorized repair shops.

Many pieces of legislation across the country were worthy of review, but only seven were deemed iAWFUL enough by NetChoice to make the latest version of the association’s ranking of state and federal bills that limit competition, innovation and customer choice. (iAWFUL.com) Read more