Australia - Productivity Commission releases research paper on digital disruption On 15 June 2016, the Productivity Commission released a research paper entitled 'Digital Disruption: What do governments need to do?' which evaluates the role of government as our developed economy faces the prospect of potentially disruptive technological change. The Productivity Commission was tasked with reviewing and interpreting expert opinion on disruptive digital technologies, with the objective of informing governments about the policy and regulatory challenges posed by these new technologies. It observed that advances in computing power, connectivity, mobility and data storage capacity could provide for higher productivity growth and improvements in living standards, while conversely, these technologies could also pose risks of higher inequality and dislocation of labour and capital. From a legal perspective, the research paper emphasised that digital technologies allow for more pervasive collection of data on individuals, which in turn should prompt the Government's reconsideration of laws concerning privacy, the unlawful use of information, and the security of digital networks. The Productivity Commission stated, “the pace of change associated with digital development has implications for how governments undertake regulatory functions.” For instance, the research paper proposes that governments should adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach to new business models and products, rather than reacting quickly to regulate unrealised risks. Additionally, where relevant regulations already exist, governments should adopt fixed term regulatory exemptions for innovative market entrants, while still maintaining an overarching regulatory focus. The research paper forms parts of a broader review framework comprising formal inquiries into data availability and use, and intellectual property arrangements in Australia. To view the research paper, click here. To view the draft report on intellectual property, click here. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Allgrove, Toby Patten or Matthew Dempsey.