Canadians want more government regulation of emerging technology: study

Drones and driverless vehicles are Canadians' top picks for a regulatory review

Drones and autonomous vehicles are among the emerging technologies that Canadians believe need the most regulatory oversight from government, according to a study from Accenture.

Of the more than 1,000 Canadians surveyed for the report, more than 40% say drones carrying video cameras should be a priority for government review and close to 40% say driverless cars and online user agreements also require greater oversight.

“With new, disruptive players quickly entering the market, governments must work with business to provide assurance that there is a regulatory process that creates the best situation for Canadians,” says Dave Telka, a managing director and leader of Accenture’s Canadian public service practice, in a press release.

As well, 30% of Canadians want a regulatory review of connected home products such as technology that controls lights and home security systems. Social media and privacy rights were cited by 26% of those surveyed as needing more regulation. The sharing economy also saw a high response rate with 26% of respondents wanting more ridesharing regulation for companies like Uber and Lyft and 23% wanting more oversight for shared accommodation services like Airbnb.

The emerging technologies that Canadians felt most strongly about greater regulatory oversight are:

  • Drones and autonomous vehicles
  • Ridesharing services
  • Digital currencies like Bitcoin
  • Online user agreements


The study finds that different generations prioritized the review of different technologies. Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to want increased oversight of music and streaming services while baby boomers place more importance on online user agreements. Boomers are also more likely to want greater regulation regarding drones, autonomous vehicles and ridesharing services.

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