I’m not sure how much “tech” companies are actually sidestepping regulation by masquerading as something they aren’t. I can’t think of a startup with tech underpinning their product/service that hasn’t had to satisfy industry specific regulations. Take Über for example. At the end of the day *most* drivers have to answer to local regulations. Or say a food truck somehow avoiding sanitation and food handling inspections simply because their customers are engaged via an app. That’s not a loophole, that’s breaking the law.
Perhaps it’s that these self proclaimed “tech” startups are acting unethically and our public institutions are slow to react. In that regard our current institutions need to modernize and upscale, but the larger issue is with how these companies engage their true industries.
Consider Facebook. Their terms of service allows for social experiments. This amounts to conducting research where the subjects are not aware that they are active participants. This wouldn’t fly in a PH.D. student’s thesis. Academia would require disclosures read and signed — not buried on page three of a 15,000 word terms of service.
Although I disagree with how you characterize our public institutions approach to the “tech” industry, your point is well taken. For the most part you’re dead on. Good read.