Startup News Digest 1/11/2019

The Big Story: 

California collecting input on privacy law. The process of implementing a new California privacy law kicked off in earnest this week as state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office held its first public forum on the issue.

The California Consumer Privacy Act—which passed the legislature last year as lawmakers sought to keep the measure from the more-restrictive ballot initiative process—will create new obligations and responsibilities for companies that handle the data of California users and is set to go into effect in 2020. The Attorney General’s office is slated to hold several public forums across the state over the next few weeks and is accepting public comments on implementation.

If you’re a California startup that wants to get involved in the conversation about California Consumer Privacy Act implementation, contact info@engine.is to learn more about the issue and opportunities to engage.

Policy Roundup:

Export control concerns. Engine filed comments this week with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security warning against the unintended negative consequences startups will face is the agency puts new regulatory burdens on a broad class of “emerging technologies,” including artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and robotics.

A lower bar for software patents. The Patent and Trademark Office this week announced a proposed change for patent examiners that limits what they can deem unpatentable, a move that could make it easier to get broad and vague software patents that are easily weaponized by patent trolls.

Shutdown impacts opportunity zones. The Internal Revenue Service cancelled a hearing scheduled for this week on proposed opportunity zones regulations—meant to implement a provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that created tax incentives for investors who bring capital to economically disadvantaged areas—due to the government shutdown.

Goodbye global right to be forgotten? An EU official is calling for the end of a policy requiring Internet platforms to remove content across the globe when complying with a European user’s request to have online information about that user removed.

Investing $10M in diversity. At its annual Consumer Electronics Show this week, the Consumer Technology Association announced that it will invest $10 million in venture funds focused on diverse entrepreneurs, including women and people of color.

Startup Roundup:

#StartupsEverywhere. Conway, A.R. Kim Lane, the Conductor’s CEO and all-around ecosystem builder, has seen the region change dramatically with the help of the public and private sectors. Kim and her team work closely with policymakers to develop policies that encourage entrepreneurship with. healthcare and education at the top of her policy wishlist.