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Fintech companies are already disrupting established financial services institutions in markets like banking and auto lending, but their future fortunes could be based in large part on government policy.
On that front, one of the biggest regulatory developments in years could be on the horizon in the United States.
Last week, new US President Donald Trump signed a directive asking his Treasury secretary to review The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Dodd-Frank was signed into law in 2010 by former President Barack Obama and was aimed at preventing another financial crisis like the one that struck the US banking system in 2008.
In January, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
His stunning upset victory as an outsider with no political experience shocked the world, and now everybody is trying to figure out what the Trump presidency will actually mean.
China's internet advertising market is much larger in proportion to its traditional advertising than Western countries.
The US, for example, spends less than half (47%) on internet and mobile advertising and slightly less on TV advertising (39%).
Fintech upstarts are disrupting established financial institutions and many pin the blame on those very institutions, arguing that they're not innovative.
But now one bank is complaining that EU rules, namely the bonus cap instituted after the Great Recession, are impeding its ability to innovate by luring top tech talent and acquiring startups.
More than a decade ago, Microsoft was branded by the United States government as a greedy monopolist and the company's existence was threatened by an antitrust lawsuit that could have resulted in the then-world's largest software company being broken apart.
Today, memories of Microsoft's past may have largely faded but the Redmond company is still trying to convince consumers that it's cool, and perhaps more importantly, that it's on their side. One of the ways it's doing that: declaring its support for consumer privacy.
It may not be the new kid on the block, but email is, for many companies, one of the most effective and profitable digital marketing channels.
It's not hard to understand why: an email address, like a physical address or phone number, gives companies a means to connect with a known individual across time and space, making it a compelling medium for relationship-building.
Today, the administration of US President Barack Obama announced a blueprint for a "Privacy Bill of Rights."
The goal: "improve consumers’ privacy protections" and "give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet", all the while maintaining the internet's status as an "engine for innovation and economic growth."
To achieve that goal, the president has enlisted the help of some of the internet's biggest names, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL.
Within first direct, there is an understanding that social media is a channel we should be developing and engaging in, so in essence, that ‘internal sell’ is the easy bit.
The hard part however, is overcoming the way people think about regulation and compliance, and having both the confidence and strategy to feel comfortable working within these confines.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has increasingly been taking a more active role in trying to make sure that online marketers aren't harming consumers. That has meant, amongst other things, keeping a close eye on marketing taking place through social channels. You know, Kim Kardashian's tweets.
Yesterday, the FTC issued a long-awaited staff report that "proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services."
Last November, I suggested that ACTA, the not-so-secret-anymore Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that governments have been negotiating for more than a year, could be "the worst thing for the internet - ever."
And with a 331-294 approval in the EU Parliament, it's one step closer to reality.
Craigslist is an internet icon, and it's a unique one. Despite the rapid evolution of the internet over the past decade, Craigslist in 2010 still looks like Craigslist in 2000. The fact that Craigslist has managed to thrive largely its original form is a testament to the value it offers.
But Craigslist is under assault. And it's not competitors who are attacking. It's politicians and the media. The reason: adult service ads which many say are frequently used in the illegal trafficking of women and children. And which many argue Craigslist continues to allow because they're a lucrative source of revenue.