JUUL: Leading the Vaping Revolution

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In his case, “JUUL and the Vaping Revolution,” Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel discusses the controversy surrounding the exponential growth of JUUL vaping products in 2018, in particular the success of its e-cigarettes with teenage high school students who had never smoked.

Surveillance Capitalism

This post is by HBR.org from HBR.org

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“All digital infrastructure is used to shape human behavior in the direction that will be successful in the marketplace,” says Shoshana Zuboff, whose latest book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” is a primer for understanding how technology companies are shaping our economy and society.

How to deal with Big Tech regulation, smartly

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

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Cory Doctorow, in an opinion piece for the Economist, makes some salient points about challenges and unintended consequences of regulating tech companies. Instead, he proposes what needs to happen. I found myself nodding my head in agreement. The readers here know of my often repeated arguments that big tech giants welcome oversight because it puts the little companies at a disadvantage and thus increasing their grip. Facebook and its fellow giants are enemy of the innovation economy, the very one that allowed them to thrive and become this big. Continue reading “How to deal with Big Tech regulation, smartly”

If You Immigrate, You Can’t Bank

This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

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Immigration is top of mind for people all over the world.  In America, it’s our Southern border.  In Europe, it’s immigration from India, Africa and the Middle East. As countries around the world fail their people, they risk it all to go somewhere else.

When you immigrate legally to somewhere else, you run into a policy thicket that has been set up to trap the bad guys.  Bad guys meaning terrorists, drug cartels, weapon cartels and ne’er do wells who aren’t interested in participating in a civil society.  That’s too bad but every financial institution has strict rules and government mandated regulations on anti-money laundering and know your customer laws.  In the business the shorthand is AMLKYC.

One of our portfolio companies, Pipit, solves big problems for creditworthy hard-working immigrants that cannot open up a bank account due to AMLKYC rules.

Recently Ollie Walsh Continue reading “If You Immigrate, You Can’t Bank”

Dark Patterns Are Insidious Or Are They Harmless?

This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

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Do you know what a data pattern is?  Digital companies use them all the time.  I didn’t know what they were called until I went to the Stigler Center Conference.  Dark patterns are powerful.  They combine what we know about behavioral economics and put it into a digital format with instantaneous clicks and responses.

Should we regulate their use?  If so, how?

However, there are two schools of thought on them.  In my discussion below, I will highlight what digital companies are doing but also mention ways physical experiences mimic things that are happening on the web.  If we regulate the web, should we also regulate the physical experiences?  You will notice that the academics that are offering conflicting views teach at the same university.  They aren’t living in a bubble.

University of Chicago Professor of Law Lior Strahilevitz made the Continue reading “Dark Patterns Are Insidious Or Are They Harmless?”

The Truth About Autonomy

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“We’re not even close to developing fully driverless cars,” urges Duke University professor Missy Cummings, a former fighter pilot and the director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke. She explores where automation currently is and paints a picture of the future with humans as integral parts of autonomous systems.

Stopping Data Breaches Will Require Help from Governments

This post is by Samir C. Jain and Lisa M. Ropple from HBR.org

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Not a month goes by without a major corporation suffering a cyber attack.  Often state-sponsored, these breaches are insidious, difficult to detect, and may implicate personal information relating to millions of individuals. Clearly, the current approaches to safeguarding sensitive data are insufficient. We need to reorient expectations for the role of the private sector in cybersecurity.  As the risk of cyberattacks has become better appreciated, we see an increasingly punitive focus on holding corporate America solely responsible.

Multiple, overlapping laws at the national and state level require companies to have “reasonable” security, a concept that is largely undefined and elusive, especially given that threats and available defensive measures constantly evolve. And regulatory enforcement actions and lawsuits in the wake of cyberattacks declare any exploited security vulnerability to be de facto “unreasonable,” without a meaningful assessment of the company’s overall security program or acknowledgement

Continue reading “Stopping Data Breaches Will Require Help from Governments”

Regulation for Facial Recognition Technology

This post is by Continuations by Albert Wenger from Continuations by Albert Wenger

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When Brad Smith from Microsoft had called for the regulation of Facial Recognition technology in July I was concerned about where that might go, as it could easily result in stifling innovation. I was therefore relieved to see the principles that Microsoft put forth yesterday, which are for the most part quite sensible.


In particular, I agree and strongly support the due process suggestion on government’s use of facial recognition technology. Surveillance of an individual using facial recognition should require a court order.

I am also a big fan of requiring an API to enable third party testing. This is in fact the first instance I am aware of in which a large tech company proposes such a requirement which I have written about frequently before and is a central part of what I call “Informational Freedom” in my book World After Capital. A great approach here Continue reading “Regulation for Facial Recognition Technology”