How should disclosure/shareholder communications requirements reflect changes in technology?
The ubiquity of the internet is underpinned by the concept of ‘technology neutrality’: that regulation should not assume or require the use of certain forms of technology. For example, where the law requires that certain communications happen by post (technology-specific regulation), preventing use of more efficient electronic means.This approach supports the uptake of new technology and prevents government from having to constantly redesign regulation to accommodate new technologies as they emerge.
In response to findings of the Financial System Inquiry, the Treasury has proposed that technology neutrality be applied to the distribution of meeting notices and papers. Broadly, the proposal suggests that a company should be able to distribute meeting notices and papers through electronic means, moving away from the current paper-based-by-default method.