US tariffs unfair, but a deserved response to French taxes

THE punitive tariffs on French goods proposed by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) are a disproportionate response to France's digital services tax. But that's what French President Emmanuel Macron gets for his impatience to be the first to tax multinational Internet platforms...

Why London has banned Uber - again

LONDON first banned Uber under its buccaneer of a founding chief executive officer, Travis Kalanick - and now for a second time under Mr Kalanick's successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, who was meant to be the adult in the room. 


'BRICS' is about geopolitics, not economics

BRICS, one of the most powerful concepts to emerge in political economy this century, makes little sense today, S&P Global Ratings said in an emailed note last week. But even if that's true for economic analysis, the acronym coined by Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O'Neill has predicted the...


WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is a gimmick

THE discovery that hackers could snoop on WhatsApp should alert users of supposedly secure messaging apps to an uncomfortable truth: "End-to-end encryption" sounds nice - but if anyone can get into your phone's operating system, they will be able to read your messages without having to decrypt...

Why it could be smart to bet on climate change

A TIPPING point for governments in aligning their policies with the science of climate change won't be brought about by students demonstrating. It will come from a shift in investor sentiment.


Facebook and Google aren't the only ones tracking your clicks

CRITICISM of big tech companies that track us across the Internet without our informed consent misses a bigger picture: There are hundreds of ad-tracking companies that do the same, and regulators have been powerless to rein them in.


Beware of cars with minds of their own

PREDICTIONS that autonomous cars powered by artificial intelligence will create a safer, more harmonious world may be off base: That's because the new thinking technology will respond to different incentives from humans, and that won't necessarily lead to better outcomes. Figuring out...


Let users sell their data to Facebook

IT IS easy to be outraged by the revelation that Facebook has been paying users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to US$20 a month to allow practically unlimited access to their smartphone usage data. But outrage about the social media giant is so 2017. The latest dubious practice could be an...