Yes, but the state legislatures clearly don’t believe issues like data privacy, online expression and tech monopolies are wholly federal matters. Congress also moves slowly or is completely gridlocked on many of these concerns.
It is not clear, though, how far states are permitted to go in these tech regulations and taxes. The Maryland digital advertising tax will almost certainly be challenged in court.
How do tech companies feel about this?
We’ll probably hear more from them that state lawmakers are in over their heads and will hurt their own states’ economies with new taxes or regulation. That’s often how any company responds to more government rules or costs.
And on some issues — notably after California passed strict digital privacy laws — big technology companies are pushing for federal laws, in part to head off any future local or state rules that might be even harsher.
Is there a common theme among new regulations that tech companies are facing in places like Pakistan, Australia and the United States?
It’s a sign of the new reality for Google, Facebook, Amazon and America’s other tech powers. These companies started out as lightly regulated newcomers, but as they grew and went global, other countries started to become concerned about the companies’ effect on their economies, workers and people’s communications.
Now the reconsideration of a laissez-faire approach to tech regulation has landed back in the United States, including in states and cities.