Trends

Exponential innovation creates regulatory challenges

The exponential change of technology presents a unique timing challenge for regulatory agencies: Regulate too early and you risk stymieing innovators; wait too long and you risk losing the opportunity to regulate a technology or service before it becomes widespread, potentially harming consumers or markets in the interim.
This becomes increasingly true in the smart city context as cities start experimenting with new and often unregulated technologies. For instance, a handful of years ago, the microchips needed to enable data collection and wireless communication were cost-prohibitive. Now, these microchips are more cost-effective and are commonly used in connected devices—which often presents a privacy and security challenge for regulators.

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