In June 2015, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on The “Sharing” Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators. The Commission also solicited public comments on the topic, receiving more than 2,000 comments in response. On 17 November, the Commission issued a report summarizing the issues explored in the workshop and the public comments. The report emphasized that the workshop (and its ensuing summary) was not intended “as a precursor to law enforcement” but “an opportunity to learn more” about this rapidly evolving business model and to aid “the Commission, as well as regulators, consumer groups, platforms, participants using the platforms, incumbent firms, and others” to address the unique issues raised by sharing economy platforms.
A financial services industry group recently released guidance on managing the risks associated with using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The guidance, titled “Social Media Risks and Mitigation,” was released this week by BITS, a division of the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents 100 of the largest financial services companies. The guidance includes tips on managing numerous concerns specific to financial institutions, which are increasingly using social media in their marketing and customer relationship activities.
In the United States, regulators and policy makers are taking a close look at the issues surrounding behavioral advertising and how to protect the privacy of consumers. A vigorous debate is occurring over self-regulation versus the asserted need for legislation or regulation. So it is interesting to see what is going on in Europe in the realm of self-regulation.