By: Ellysse Dick
The shift to mass distance learning due to COVID-19 has revealed critical deficits and disparities across the U.S. education system. This has underscored the need for schools to adopt educational technology that allows students to learn independently, whether at home or in the classroom, as well as to stay engaged. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) — immersive technologies that enable users to experience digitally rendered content in both physical and virtual space — have the potential to meet these needs, but only if federal and state governments make targeted investments in these technologies.
By: Aurelien Portuese
The updated regulation of the Internet was looming. Brussels unfurled it.
Together with the Digital Services Act (DSA), which updates the sensible E-Commerce Directive of 2000, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has been presented by European Commissioners Breton and Vestager. This Act aims at ensuring a “contestable and fair digital sector in general and core platform services in particular, with a view to promoting innovation, high quality of digital products and services, fair and competitive prices, as well as high quality and choice for end users in the digital sector. …
By: Aurelien Portuese
There is no such thing as a clean war. Casualties and large-scale collateral damage always abound. Similarly, there is no such thing as a clean breakup — consumer harm and collateral damage to innovation can always occur.
In an orchestrated composition following the DOJ’s lawsuit against Google, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, together with 46 states. After the elite-driven techlash came the judicial techlash. However historic the Google lawsuit might be, the Facebook lawsuit sets another historical stepstone in aggressive antitrust enforcement. Indeed, the Google lawsuit has vaguely requested to “enter…
By: Ellysse Dick
President Biden’s campaign plans to promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing included a commitment to investing in key emerging technologies to support U.S. competitiveness. And Monday’s “Made in America” Executive Order makes it clear that this will be a key priority for his administration.
As the federal government explores new investments across industries to strengthen American businesses, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) — immersive technologies that enable users to experience digitally rendered content in both physical and virtual space — should not be overlooked. Government investments in AR/VR content will not only expand the potential of the technology…
By Aurelien Portuese
Facebook recently updated WhatsApp’s privacy rules so that the messenger app could share user data with other parts of the Facebook company. This has caused big buzz among those who claim Internet platforms are playing a little too much with such rules and that this ultimately generates user distrust and might compromise free speech. But is this really a privacy or an antitrust problem, or yet another example of a conflated, little understood issue? For those who cherish innovation and truly adhere to competition principles, it’s neither one, nor the other.
Not a data privacy issue
By: Robert D. Atkinson
Never let a good crisis go to waste, advised President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the 2009 economic meltdown. Today, advocates of universal basic income (UBI) — a government program providing people with regular payments regardless of their income, resources, and employment status — are taking his advice to heart and pushing for widespread adoption of the program. Policymakers should resist such calls, as implementing UBI would only increase unemployment rates, making the already-growing massive national debt simply explode. …
By Aurelien Portuese and Robert D. Atkinson
Two weeks before the presidential elections, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, together with 11 Republican state attorneys general, filed a sweeping antitrust suit against Google, which it dubiously cast as a monopolistic “the gatekeeper of the Internet” in what appeared to be a case of envy and resentment rather than legal merit.
It was telling that President Trump publicly complained for months that the European Commission fined Google three times for a total of nearly $10 billion. Trump’s complaints appeared to have been not so much about the fines themselves as about the…
By: David M. Hart
Electric vehicles (EVs) will replace light-duty internal-combustion-engine vehicles (ICEVs) that run on gasoline and diesel in the coming years. The shift is necessary to combat climate change. It could also upend global competition in the world’s largest manufacturing sector. Most leading vehicle-producing regions and nations perceive the opportunity — and the threat — this paradigm shift represents. They are taking action in response — with one big exception: the United States. It’s high time that the federal government adopted a serious EV manufacturing strategy.
By: Daniel Castro and Ellysse Dick
This week the seemingly interminable 2020 presidential campaign will (hopefully) be at an end. While it is too soon to predict whether Trump or Biden will prevail on November 3, it is almost certain that social media will be declared the undisputed loser.
If Biden wins, the Republicans will likely allege unfair treatment on social media as a contributing factor in their loss. In the months leading up to the election, social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter have repeatedly flagged, fact-checked, or removed a number of Trump’s posts. …
By: Nigel Cory
Lest it never be said that criminals cannot be innovative. Case in point digital piracy, which evolves with changing technology, consumer preferences, and business models. But thankfully some countries are innovating as well, adapting their legal tools to keep up with ever adapting digital pirates. Unfortunately, others, including the United States, have been slower to do so, and have especially failed to block access to offshore online services that engage in the mass distribution of pirated content. …
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is a think tank focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy.