Tech Policy Podcast
#258: Protecting creativity with Pinterest

#258: Protecting creativity with Pinterest

January 3, 2020

One of the largest challenges online platforms face is finding the best approach to content moderation on a large scale. Aerica Shimizu Banks, public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest, joins the show to discuss how Pinterest has built its platform, the challenges of content moderation, and the importance of Section 230 for digital speech.

#257: The Future of 5G with T-Mobile

#257: The Future of 5G with T-Mobile

December 20, 2019

While 5G continues to be a major buzzword within the wireless industry, 2020 will likely see important steps forward in bringing the new technology to consumers. Marie Sylla-Dixon, vice president of federal government and external affairs for T-Mobile, joins the show to discuss the company’s work, including the “5G for Good” program, which aims to ensure that first responders, students, and other underserved communities have access to quality Internet connections. Note: This podcast was recorded on November 25, 2019. Since then, T-Mobile has launched a nationwide 5G network on December 2, 2019.

#256: Driving Out Flexibility

#256: Driving Out Flexibility

December 6, 2019

The gig economy has given workers important new opportunities to earn extra income or work a job that gives them freedom over their schedule. However, a recent push from several state legislatures to reclassify contractors as employees threatens the flexibility that’s made the gig economy so valuable to both workers and consumers. Patrice Onwuka, Senior Policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, joins the show to discuss the potential consequences of the new legislation. For more on the subject, see her recent post on the California legislation.

#255 How Much Should We Worry About Deep Fakes?

#255 How Much Should We Worry About Deep Fakes?

October 28, 2019

Deep fake technology, which uses artificial intelligence to convincingly alter video, has become the source of the latest panic over the spread of misinformation. While the technology can certainly be put to creative and entertaining uses, are those benefits outweighed by the threat it poses to democracy and the media? Or is it simply the next step in a history of deceptive practices that we’ve managed to adapt to? Taylor Barkley, program officer of technology & innovation at Stand Together, joins the show to discuss. For more, see his recent post in Human Progress.

#254: Bridging the Digital Divide through Internet Essentials

#254: Bridging the Digital Divide through Internet Essentials

October 3, 2019

Despite the fact that the Internet is more intertwined with our daily lives than ever before, far too many people in America lack a reliable connection and are left behind. Karima Zedan, Vice President of Digital Inclusion and Internet Essentials at Comcast, joins the show to discuss how Comcast is working to bridge the digital divide by offering low-cost service, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer, and providing digital literacy training opportunities in partnership with nonprofits around the country in an effort to expand access.

#253: The Road Ahead for Self-Driving Cars

#253: The Road Ahead for Self-Driving Cars

September 19, 2019

As the technology behind self-driving cars becomes increasingly viable for more widespread use, lawmakers and regulators have grappled with creating a legal framework for them. Jamie Boone, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Consumer Technology Association, and Ian Adams, Vice President of Policy at TechFreedom, join the show to discuss the current regulatory landscape for autonomous vehicles at the state and federal levels.

#252: Harm-Reducing E-Cigs Might Go up in Smoke

#252: Harm-Reducing E-Cigs Might Go up in Smoke

July 31, 2019

Despite an ever-growing body of evidence showing that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than traditional combustible cigarettes and can serve as a valuable smoking cessation tool, efforts continue to restrict or outright ban them in the name of public health. Paul Blair, director of strategic initiatives at Americans for Tax Reform, joins the show to discuss the latest developments in vaping regulation. For more on the subject, see Blair’s work and Tech Policy Podcast episode #213.

#251: SESTA/FOSTA Hurts the Victims It Aims to Protect

#251: SESTA/FOSTA Hurts the Victims It Aims to Protect

July 18, 2019

Last year, Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, legislation intended to help law enforcement fight sex trafficking online. However, as numerous experts (including us) predicted, the law has ultimately pushed sex workers into more dangerous practices and made online platforms less likely to assist law enforcement due to fear of liability. Kendra Albert, clinical instructional fellow at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School, joins the show to discuss how the law has backfired and what to expect in the legal challenges against it. For more, see episodes #189 and #218 of the podcast, and Albert’s work at Harvard.

#250: Mapbox

#250: Mapbox

June 14, 2019

Apps increasingly rely on user location data as part of their services, but how private is that data kept? Ash is joined by Tom Lee, policy lead at Mapbox, which provides mapping and location services to a range of companies including Snapchat, TikTok, and the Weather Channel. Lee discusses how Mapbox provides useful location services while still protecting user privacy, and how the US can develop privacy laws to help preserve this balance.

#249: Information Fiduciaries: The Privacy Awakens

#249: Information Fiduciaries: The Privacy Awakens

June 5, 2019

On the previous episode of the show we covered a new legal concept of information fiduciaries and how it can apply to tech policy. Today we are diving in deeper and applying the concept to privacy with Lindsey Barrett, staff attorney and teaching fellow at the Institute for Public Representation Communications & Technology Clinic at Georgetown University, joins the show to discuss the difference between American and European views on privacy, and how a privacy policy based around the concept of information fiduciaries might look in the US. For more, see Barrett’s recent paper on the subject.