In a letter to the Financial Times, Colao dismissed the opinion of many internet-focused companies, who last month told international summit e-G8 that the internet should remain free from governmental tinkering.
Colao took direct aim at Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, who has been a vocal critic of regulation.
“Mr Zuckerberg argues that there are already many self-governing mechanisms for building and maintaining trust (Ebay, Amazon and Wikipedia are all good examples),” Colao wrote. “But the media report every day on threats or infringements of individual rights, often of the most vulnerable in society.”
According to the Vodafone boss, the wider internet industry should look at the progress being made in bringing in regulations, such as the Digital Economy Act, which looks to clamp down on illegal file-sharing.
“In areas such as piracy of music and video content, a solution is being found, where new copyright laws require the public authorities to direct network operators such as Vodafone to block access to illegal services or platforms,” Colao said.
“Extending this to areas such as privacy, citizens’ security and consumer protection would offer a powerful incentive for all companies to comply with national laws.”
Colao backed calls from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who at the e-G8 summit said the internet needed a proper legal framework to prosper.
“The universe that you represent is not a parallel universe which is free of rules of law or ethics or of any of the fundamental principles that must govern and do govern the social lives of our democratic states,” Sarkozy told industry bosses at the summit.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk