Tech Law Policy Blog Tracking the Most Important Research and Developments in Tech Law & Policy

Friday Links 2/15/19

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One of the many reasons I’m skeptical that self-driving cars will take over the road any time soon: Many people really don’t seem to like the idea.

Smart contracts: Neither smart nor contracts, from Freedom to Tinker. Related, a new James Grimmelmann paper on the ambiguity inherent in smart contracts. This is an excellent paper, and I had a brief back-and-forth with the author on beefing up the distinction between vagueness and ambiguity in the paper. Highly recommended.

Six attorneys general are investigating Facebook data practices. FB’s lawyers aren’t going to have to worry about being slow any time soon.

Google now pays more in EU fines than it does in taxes.

Excellent new Marinescu and Posner paper on a proposal to enhance anti-trust protection against market monopsony. Waiting for one of the forty democratic candidates for president to pick up on this as a way to reduce economic inequality. Unlike many current proposals, this one seems to be supported by evidence.

The most comprehensive study yet on the impact of Facebook on well-being. A few notable quotes: “Deactivation caused small but significant improvements in well-being, and in particular on self reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety.” Also, “[w]e find that deactivation indeed significantly increases SWB. All but one of the ten point estimates are positive. The magnitudes are relatively small overall, with the largest and most significant effects on life satisfaction (0.12 SD), anxiety (0.10 SD), depression (0.09 SD), and happiness (0.08 SD).”

Related: the great Cal Newport has a new book on digital minimalism.

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