“Can regulators keep up with fintech?” “Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret.” “Regulators scramble to stay ahead of self-driving cars.” “Digital health dilemma: Regulators struggle to keep pace with health care technology innovation.” Headlines like these capture a central challenge to today’s regulators.
Existing regulatory structures are often slow to adapt to changing social and economic circumstances, and are generally risk-averse. The policy cycle often takes anything from five to 20 years whereas a unicorn startup can develop into a global company in just a few months. Airbnb, for example, went from 21,000 arrivals in 2009 to 80 million in 2016. In the meantime, cities and countries are still trying to figure out how, and if, they can regulate short-term rental markets. Ride-hailing services, such as Uber, have experienced similar hyper-growth as regulations in the space struggle to follow. As new innovation and business models emerge government agencies are challenged with creating, adapting, enforcing and communicating the regulations to the public at a previously undreamed-of pace. And they must do so while working within legacy frameworks and attempting to foster innovation.
This presentation will highlight the unique regulatory challenges posed by digital-age technologies. Then it will describe the four critical questions policymakers and regulators in Latin America must address when it comes to regulating the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Finally, it will provide a set of five principles to guide the future of regulation.