Yes, but state lawmakers clearly do not believe that issues such as privacy, online printing, and technical monopolies are exclusively federal issues. Congress is also moving slowly or is completely stuck to many of these concerns.
However, it is not clear how far states can go in these technical regulations and taxes. The Maryland Digital Advertising Tax will almost certainly be challenged in court.
How do tech companies feel about this?
We are likely to hear more from them that state lawmakers are over their heads and damaging the economies of their own states with new taxes or regulations. Every company often reacts to more government regulations or costs.
And on some subjects – especially afterwards California has tough digital privacy laws in place – Big tech companies are pushing for federal laws, in part to circumvent future local or state regulations that may be more stringent.
It’s a sign of the new reality for Google, Facebook, Amazon, and America’s other tech powers. These companies started out as lightly regulated newcomers, but as they grew and became global, other countries became concerned about the impact of companies on their economies, workers, and people’s communications.
Now the revision of a laissez-faire approach to regulating technology has arrived again in the United States, including in states and cities.
Tip of the week
How to unlock an iPhone with a mask
In the category of tiny victories, the consumer technology columnist for the New York Times Brian X. Chen is going through an upcoming feature for newer iPhone models that will recognize our faces when we are wearing a mask. Spoiler alert: This doesn’t apply to everyone with an iPhone.
A nagging nuisance for many iPhone owners in the pandemic is the inability of the device’s face scanner to recognize us with masks on. That said, we can’t unlock our phones while wearing a face mask and we had to enter a passcode. Of course there are bigger problems this year. Still, it feels lame.
There’s a solution on the way – if you have an Apple Watch. The next version of iOS (14.5) will allow you to quickly unlock the phone with a mask. Essentially, the clock is what allows iPhone to verify that it’s you.
The new iPhone software is still in beta mode, so the official version has not yet been released. I usually recommend not installing beta software as it can cause glitches. But if you want to unlock your phone without a mask, here’s what you can do:
Sign up for Apple’s beta software. Then click through the steps to register your iPhone and Apple Watch so they can install the beta software.
After installing the beta software on the iPhone and Apple Watch, open the Settings app on your iPhone. Then scroll down to “Face ID & Passcode”. In this menu, scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch and enable the option to unlock with your Apple Watch if the image scanner detects your face with a mask.
The next time you’re at the grocery store and look at your phone, your watch will vibrate once and unlock your phone. Sweet relief.