No one can deny that technology and the internet have changed not only the business landscape but consumers’ day-to-day lives, giving them more flexibility and freedom. But people often forget that this freedom has come with a price.
Technology, especially the internet, has reduced barriers, which has contributed to many problems, including cybercrime, mental health issues, and addiction.
Fortunately, governments and lawmakers are attempting to fix these issues by implementing new regulations and laws. This article will explore critical changes that technology and internet users should be aware of.
Adult ID Certification
In 2023, the HB142 bill came into effect, and this law demanded that all residents in Louisiana provide government-issued ID when trying to access websites with adult material. This law aims to reduce the harmful impact this material can have on minors, including body image disorders, low self-esteem, and difficulties forming positive relationships. As PIA reports, 11 other states in the US have proposed similar bills since Louisiana lawmakers passed HB142.
The United States’ problem with robocalls and caller ID spoofing reached a tipping point in 2019. RoboKiller states that Americans lost more than $1 billion to phone scams in 2019, as robocalls used caller ID spoofing to disguise their identity to make it appear that phone calls were coming from legitimate and trustworthy sources.
The media deemed this spoofing an epidemic, leading the FTC to create the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework. This framework aims to reduce cases of illegal robocalls. Under this framework, which came into effect in June 2021 in the US and November 2021 in Canada, all telecommunication providers must use caller ID authentication.
Cybercrime has spiked in recent years. According to AAG IT Services, cybercrime increased by 153% between 2017 and 2021. To counter this, the SEC created the “Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure.”
In March 2022, the SEC changed its regime, stating that all public companies now have to report material cybersecurity incidents and provide periodic reports regarding updates from previous cybersecurity cases. The SEC also requires public companies to provide information about how much experience the firm’s management and board of directors have in handling cybersecurity risk and introducing new policies.
Years ago, celebrity endorsements were the primary way companies built brand equity through the public’s positive association with these figures. Today, many companies have switched to online influencers to do this job because of their reach and perceived relatability with their target audience. However, many issues have surfaced with this, as influencers are posting misleading content and not declaring sponsored posts.
In Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) started to crack down on this in early 2023, looking for influencers not including crucial information about the products they’re promoting online. According to the ACCC, failing to disclose this information goes against the organisation’s core goal of consumer protection.
More and more people are becoming concerned with how tech giants like Meta and Alphabet share their personal information. Recently, the European Union rolled out the Digital Services Act to reduce this worry. This act places more regulations on tech companies and restricts how they can sell user data. The Digital Services Act aims to offer online consumers more protection and give online platforms more accountability for their actions.
As technology has become more powerful, its uses have become good and evil. However, governments and lawmakers worldwide realise that technology offers more good than bad, but specific changes need to be made if we want to continue to use it to better the world. These changes have come in the form of different laws and regulations, such as the HB142 bill, the STIR/SHAKEN framework, and the Digital Services Act.