ANU researchers publish Tech Policy Atlas


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 29 September, 2023

ANU researchers publish Tech Policy Atlas

The Australian National University’s Tech Policy Design Centre has launched a new project to map the world’s technology policy and regulation.

The new Tech Policy Atlas will seek to evaluate the state of technology regulation across an initial 36 nations. The first-of-its-kind Atlas provides an interactive mechanism for users to explore policy from around the world, segmented by country, jurisdiction, category and type.

The open source project is ongoing, with more entries being added continuously based on submissions evaluated by the Tech Policy Design Centre team.

The centre’s Director Johanna Weaver said the new project is a milestone in the development of global technology regulation.

“We are living in a world where technology is evolving in unexpected ways. Not only is the technologist building the tech shaping our future, but so too are policymakers and legislators who regulate and set standards by which the technologist must comply,” she said.

“Until now there was no central repository for researchers, industry leaders and policymakers to understand how and where this policy is being implemented. We’re proud to say that thanks to the hard work of everyone at the Tech Policy Design Centre and our partners all around the world, that is no longer the case.”

A surprising early finding is the pace at which developing nations are coming to grips with the implications of new technologies, Weaver said.

“Across Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya have all identified and adapted to many of the gaps in their tech policy frameworks. Since 2016, Fiji has introduced several bills to deal with cybercrime, false information and online harms,” she said.

“There’s a tendency for people to associate regulation with red tape. But good regulation fosters innovation and keeps us safe. This Atlas will help foster research that will drive better regulation, not just more regulation.”

Image credit: iStock.com/sefa ozel

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