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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K406:  歐美嚴管科技企業時代已來臨 The Hands-Off Tech Era Is Over

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K406: The Hands-Off Tech Era Is Over

It’s clear more than ever that governments will no longer leave technology alone.

情況比過去明顯,政府不會再對科技業放手不管了。

Europe mandated standard phone chargers for portable electronics while Texas passed a contested law to restrain social media companies’ policing of online speech. Tech companies can count on more changes like those as government minders wade into how they do business and how we use their products.

歐洲要求手持電子產品配備標準手機充電器,德州則通過一項有爭議的法律,限制社交媒體公司對網路言論的監管。隨著政府監管人員介入科技企業經營及我們使用其產品的方式,科技公司可以預期會有更多類似的變革。

That most likely means new technologies like driverless cars and facial recognition systems will take longer to spread into the world than they might have. For many tech proponents, more deliberation and oversight will slow invention. For others, that’s exactly the point.

這很可能意味著,像無人駕駛汽車與臉部識別系統這樣的新技術,將需要更長時間才能普及到世界各地。對於許多科技支持者來說,更多審查和監督將減緩發明的速度,但對其他人來說,這正是重點。

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by (or tune out) all the attempted government regulation. In just the past few weeks, journalists have written about pending congressional bills involving data privacy and tech antitrust; the employment classification of drivers for companies like Uber; multiple countries setting standards about how data can and cannot move around the globe.

這些政府試圖實施的監管,很容易讓人不知所措或者無視。就在過去幾周,記者們報導了國會審議中的法案涉及數據隱私與科技反壟斷;Uber等公司對司機的雇傭分類;多個國家制定數據能夠與不能在全球移動的標準。

Those are all the result of a still-evolving rethinking of what had been a relatively laissez-faire approach to tech since the 1990s. With exceptions, the prevailing attitude was that new internet technologies, including digital advertising, e-commerce, social media and gig employment through apps, were too novel, fringe and useful for governments to constrain them with many rules.

1990年代以來科技一直受到相對自由放任的對待,這些監管就是仍在演變中的反思結果。除了少數例外,主流態度是,包括數位廣告、電子商務、社交媒體與透過應用程式提供零工工作等新的網路技術,太過新穎、邊緣和有用,政府無法用許多規則來約束他們。

Just one example: A decade ago, Facebook said U.S. rules that require TV and radio to disclose who is paying for election-related ads shouldn’t apply to that company. The Federal Election Commission “should not stand in the way of innovation.” a Facebook lawyer said at the time.

就舉一例來說,十年前臉書表示,美國要求電視和廣播揭露誰是選舉相關廣告金主的規定,不應適用於該公司。臉書的一名律師當時說,聯邦選舉委員會「不應阻礙創新」。

Those ad disclosures aren’t always effective, but after Russia-backed propagandists spread social media ads and free posts to inflame American political divisions in 2016, Facebook voluntarily started to provide more transparency about political ads.

這些廣告的揭露不一定有效果,但俄羅斯支持的宣傳人員2016年散布社群媒體廣告與免費貼文,煽動美國政治分歧之後,臉書自願開始提供更多關於政治廣告的透明訊息。

Better laws or ad disclosures probably wouldn’t have prevented hostile foreign actors from abusing Facebook to wage information wars in the United States or other countries. But the hands-off conventional wisdom most likely contributed to a sense that people in charge of tech should be left alone to do what they wished.

更好的法律或廣告揭露,可能不會阻止敵國行動者濫用臉書在美國或其他國家發動資訊戰,但「放手」的傳統想法很可能助長一種觀念,亦即管理科技的人應不受干擾做自己想做的事。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6464843

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