American households are increasingly connected internally through the use of artificially intelligent appliances.1 But who regulates the safety of those dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, and vacuums powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? On March 2, 2021, at a virtual forum attended by stakeholders across the entire industry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminded us all that it has the last say on regulating AI and machine learning consumer product safety. The CPSC is an independent agency comprised of five commissioners who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve staggered seven-year terms. With the Biden administration's shift away from the deregulation agenda of the prior administration and three potential opportunities to staff the commission, consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers should expect increased scrutiny and enforcement.2
While the farm machinery industry is busy trumpeting news of all the latest digital gadgetry it is bringing to market, the EU is equally busy sowing confusion over the legislation surrounding these developments. In its latest position paper on the planned directives, CEMA – the association representing the European agricultural machinery industry – has pinpointed several problems with the proposals which it feels will be detrimental to the industry. The first point raised is the absence of any strict definition of artificial intelligence (AI) and the term'safety function', both of which are critical components of the directives. There are two directives in the pipeline which cover the implementation of AI installed in farm machinery. The first is the general regulatory framework for AI, while the second is the machinery directive itself. It should be noted that both cover all industries and not just agriculture, and that machinery is considered to be powered equipment fitted with a tool to carry out specific tasks.
The Australian government has published draft legislation and regulations that will enable fintech businesses to test certain products and services for a limited period of time with retail and wholesale clients without having to obtain a financial services or credit licence. The purpose of the Australian Financial Services Licence and the Australian Credit Licence exemption regulations is to "create a'regulatory sandbox' to encourage and support the design and delivery of new financial and credit services that will benefit consumers and businesses", the government said in its exposure draft explanatory statement [PDF]. "The regulatory sandbox will help overcome regulatory burden and cost that may hinder businesses in developing innovative offerings," it added. "The regulatory sandbox will enable fintech firms to bring innovative services and products to market faster and at lower cost, while still providing for important consumer outcomes such as dispute resolution and consumer compensation arrangements." Both the Corporations Act and the Credit Act will be amended to enable eligible businesses to test, for a maximum period of 24 months, a wider range of fintech products and services, provided they meet certain consumer protection and disclosure conditions under the National Consumer Credit Protection (FinTech Sandbox Australian Credit Licence Exemption) Regulations 2017 and Corporations (FinTech Sandbox Australian Financial Services Licence Exemption) Regulations 2017.