Poll says Canadians want more regulations on emerging tech

A recent study by Accenture found that Canadians want more regulatory overview on emerging technology. More than 40 per cent of those surveyed said that drones carrying cameras must be a priority for the government. Also, 38 per cent of the respondents feself-driving driving vehicles and online user agreements need oversight.

Emerging technology can have a major impact on lifestyle, health and the environment. It can also affect jobs, providing good reason many Canadians polled think that the government should reduce or walk away from regulating certain technologies.

Half of the respondents feel that the government should step away from regulating music and video streaming websites. Similar number of Canadians want the government to stay away from regulating social media, connected homes and artificial intelligence.

When it comes to baby boomers and younger Canadians, it will come as no surprise that more boomers want regulations compared to any other age groups. The top five tech Canadians want regulated are drones and autonomous vehicles (64 per cent), ridesharing services such as Uber (51 per cent), crypto currencies such as bitcoins which have recently seen a meteoric rise in value (49 per cent) and online user agreements (46 percent).

What is the current regulation scenario for emerging tech?

  1. Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced new safety restrictions on recreational drones on March this year. Offenders can face a fine of up to $3,000.
  2. In case of autonomous vehicles, the issue of regulations is delicate. A few well publicized accidents can lead to an introduction of progress halting regulations. Currently they are regulated at the provincial level.
  3. In case of short term home sharing apps such as Airbnb, the regulations are handled by municipalities. Canada’s major cities, Toronto and Vancouver are progressing towards it.
  4. Canada does not currently have specific laws for bitcoins and altcoins as of now.

What do you think? Would you regulate emerging tech? If yes, which one of these would you regulate first?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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