At this year’s Web Summit conference, there seemed a noteworthy change in world leaders’ perception of technology, its use and the perceived benevolence of some of its more “revolutionary” aspects.
As Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, said: “the era of technology companies thinking it was a good idea to move fast and break things is over”.
The era of tech companies thinking it was good to move fast and break things is over”, Brad Smith, Microsoft President.
With Facebook’s data scandals, Google’s anti-trust fines, or the controversy around Amazon’s facial recognition technology, large tech firms can no longer afford to be reckless over the provision of their services and the use they make of the data they accumulate. They seem increasingly convinced that internet regulation is inevitable. Their users, who were previously ambivalent about the use being made of their data are now outraged that their privacy and security seem to be put at risk. They are more knowledgeable of the amount of information they have “given” to the large providers and are now demanding action to be taken to make both the internet a safer and more secure place and to hold the large providers to account.
Can we set up a safe internet?
Ensuring a safe internet is likely to require multiple layers of authentication and biometric recognition which may make accessing it much less convenient. The challenge lies in keeping these technologies simple and user friendly, while safeguarding users from malicious or accidental data leakage.
Tech leaders need to and, in some cases, already are, engaging with governments to design a solid regulatory framework to ensure the security and utility of current and future technologies.
With the pace of change and the direction of travel of rapidly evolving technologies, it is hard for governments and consumers to react to let alone understand the ramifications of the applications they are using.
While the regulation of these global technological bodies to protect consumers and users is the first big challenge of modern government, the second is going to be appropriate taxation…
Leyton is working with companies at the forefront of the innovation that is taking place in the UK and across Europe and the United States. We believe that a pro-active and transparent approach to both the regulation and taxation of these innovative businesses will lead to security and certainty for both entrepreneurs, investors and, importantly, consumers.
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