June 25, 2017

Tech Firms Including Google, Uber and Facebook Send Trump Their Wish List

Michael Beckerman, President & CEO at Internet Association which represents big internet focused tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Twitter, Lyft, PayPal, Salesforce, Rackspace and many more, sent a congratulations letter to the Trump transition team today. In it they sought to inform Trump how important the internet is to the economy and gave their take on issues dear to them.

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The entire letter is available here (PDF).

One very interesting area the group focused on is the sharing economy, which has been under severe attack by progressives and liberal Democrats around the country. Perhaps Trump isn’t Silicon Valley’s worst nightmare after all, considering he is likely to agree with them on these planks:

ON DEMAND OR SHARING ECONOMY
By harnessing the power of the internet and internet-based commercial cloud technology, sharing economy platforms allow individuals to use their free time and resources to earn significant supplementary income under a flexible working arrangement that allows people to earn money how, when, and where they want. Although still in its nascent stage, the sharing economy is projected to account for $335 billion in global revenue in 2025, up from $15 billion in 2013.

Offer Consistent, Smart Regulatory Approaches: The rapid rise of this new sector of the economy, however, has been met by piecemeal regulatory approaches at the local and state levels that often feature misguided or overly burdensome rules driving up costs for consumers and workers. By steering clear of burdensome regulations, policymakers at every level can ensure this rapidly growing sector of the economy sees its full potential.

Protect the Flexibility and Economic Opportunities of the Sharing Economy: On demand and sharing economy companies are driving new economic growth and opportunities by providing individuals with unprecedented flexibility and control over the decision of when, and how, they earn income. By attempting to apply the same static workplace regulations of the 20th century to this new economic model, policymakers could threaten the very entrepreneurial spirit that drives these 21st century earning opportunities.

One of their other key concerns is safeguarding platforms like Facebook from lawsuits because of things their users post which means not weakening current intermediary liability laws:

“Weakening intermediary liability laws would not only chill innovation and free expression online, but would also threaten investment in the next generation of ideas fueling our digital economy. If digital content intermediaries were responsible for the content uploaded by users, over 80 percent of investors would be less likely to fund startups. In addition, 85 percent of investors are uncomfortable investing in digital content intermediaries open to unpredictable legal action.”

Another major concern is copyright law safe harbors, such as fair use, exemptions, compulsory licenses and first sale doctrine:

“Threats to the flexible framework, such as weakening limitations or exceptions to safe harbors, would create barriers to entry for internet startups and creators, which would deny users the ability to access content
online.”

They also want policies that promote pro data innovation rules:

“However, new regulatory proposals on how data is used and collected threaten to reduce this value. U.S. policy must ensure businesses in every U.S. industry can keep a competitive edge by innovating with data. To do so, policies should champion data innovation by acknowledging the crucial role of data in the modern economy and promote pro-innovation rules. This includes taking a harms-based approach to consumer privacy, instead of a collection-based approach, and stopping data minimization efforts or other proposals that would inhibit innovation.”

Rich Ord
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Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.