Tech ballot measures to watch
Image: Tinashe Mugayi / Protocol
Good morning! This Monday, we're doing a deep dive into the ballot measures that matter most in this year's election. Because the down-ballot stuff might matter to some parts of the tech world just as much as the rest of this week's outcomes.
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Issie Lapowsky writes: There are four measures on the ballot in California this year that could have outsized impact on the tech industry. Obviously, California is tech's center of command, but in many cases the rest of the country (and the world) is watching to see how these measures do. As California goes, so goes the country.
If you're still deciding how to vote, this is your explainer. And if you've already voted or don't live in California, this is why they matter and what you should be watching for.
Proposition 15 would change a decades-old property tax loophole in California called Proposition 13, which allows landowners to pay taxes on the purchase price of their property, not what it's currently worth.
Proposition 22 would make app-based drivers exempt from AB 5, the new California law that requires some contract workers to be reclassified as employees. Proposition 22 would classify drivers as independent contractors, but would set a new earnings floor, limit their hours and provide healthcare subsidies to anyone working an average of 25 hours a week per quarter.
Proposition 24 has pitted groups that are typically on the same side of the privacy debate against one another. It was written by real estate mogul Alastair Mactaggart, the same guy who wrote the 2018 ballot initiative that formed the basis of the California Consumer Protection Act. Proposition 24 would rewrite CCPA in ways that Mactaggart says improve Californians' privacy rights by allowing people to force businesses to limit the use of their sensitive data, by tripling fines for misuse of children's data and by creating an enforcement agency to oversee privacy violations, among other things.
Proposition 25 wouldn't have a direct impact on tech companies, but it would dramatically expand the use of technology to make major decisions in Californians' lives. Proposition 25 would replace the state's current cash bail system with an algorithm that determines whether people are low risk offenders who should be released from jail pre-trial. The measure would uphold a 2018 law that sought to do away with bail, so poor people were no longer stuck in jail simply because they couldn't afford to buy their way out.
We'd love to hear what you're thinking about these propositions, which other ones you're paying attention to tomorrow, and what you think comes next for all four. You can reply to this email, or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Protocol: Why don't tech's richest donate more to campaigns? Damage control, one fundraiser said:
You know who's not stressed about the election? Bitcoin bulls, Arca's Jeff Dorman said:
The post-COVID commuter lifestyle involves a cheap house in the 'burbs and a chopper to work, Blade's Rob Wiesenthal said:
Today's online marketplaces gather millions of sellers, hundreds of millions of buyers, and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits. Specifically, the Connected Commerce Council (3C) research shows that the value marketplaces bring to small and medium-sized businesses exceeds $145 billion annually. Read more on why we should celebrate the benefits of digital tools and the businesses using them.
Oh, not much. Just kidding, it's election week in the U.S. and everything feels like pure chaos! Hope you're staying sane, breathing and not refreshing the 538 tracker too often.
Meanwhile, earnings season rolls on: Uber, Alibaba, Qualcomm, Roku, Square, Dropbox, Cloudflare and others all report this week. It's going to be a volatile one on the markets, I think.
Ant Group is scheduled to list on Thursday. It's set to be the biggest IPO ever, raising almost $37 billion.
I'm sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time: Just train an AI-powered camera to follow the ball through a soccer match so you don't need a human behind the viewfinder! What could go wrong? Well, turns out one very bald referee brought the whole system to its virtual knees, and the robot takeover was postponed at least one more day.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.