Posts Under: Policy

France’s Extraterritorial Interpretation of the Right to be Forgotten Goes to the European Court of Justice

Does the EU’s right to be forgotten extend to the whole world?  The French data protection authority, CNIL, says yes and wants search engines to delist search results which contain information that violates the European Union’s right to be forgotten – not just for French users, not just for European users, but for all users everywhere. Google is prepared to remove offending search results for European users, but balks at removing material globally just because European courts find that it violates European privacy rules. 


AI Spotlight: To Catch a Terrorist

Groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda have clusters all over the world, and finding where these groups or their operatives are located is a major challenge to fighting terrorism.  Law enforcement officials can track terrorists through the monitoring of financial transactions for irregularities.  Typically, banks have helped law enforcement catch terrorists with software that that uses hard-coded “if -> then” triggers.  For example, a bank’s software might flag any transaction with an amount of seven figures or any transaction made from a different country than the one the account is based in – IF Pam in Indonesia sends $7,000,000 dollars to Jim in the UK, THEN Pam might be a terrorist or drug lord. But, what if Pam is only sending Jim money in hundred-dollar increments?  Or what if the $7,000,000 then gets shifted to other companies that are all owned by Pam? Terrorist groups will often transfer small sums of money at an infrequent rate, or la ...


Budget Blast: House Budget Adds but Taketh Away

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor-HHS-Education passed their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). The proposed bill would cut the federal education budget down to $66B – a reduction of $2.4B from FY17. While certainly better than President Trump’s $9.2B proposed cut, the FY18 House Proposal would make some dramatic changes. Not included in this proposal is the President’s $1B public school choice program (FOCUS) or the $250M in state grants for private school choice. In fact, the Education and Innovation Research program which was the vehicle for the private school choice grants is eliminated entirely.  The bulk of the cut comes from the elimination of ESSA’s Title II program. A $2B program, Title II provides funding support for educator professional development, class size reduction, and educator recruitment and mentoring. This chart from the NEA shows the state-by-state impact of Title II elimination.  Ano ...


Good News and Bad News on Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

First, the good news:  Last month, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development announced that the pending private right of action under the Canadian Anti-SPAM Law (CASL) would be delayed indefinitely—this was initially scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2017.  As many of us pointed out back when the law was enacted, unleashing the threat of frivolous litigation is likely to punish innocent companies to the tune of millions of dollars—in most cases companies that are trying to comply—while enriching trial attorneys and stifling many of the desirable email communications citizens have come to expect and appreciate. In the statement announcing the delay, Navdeep Bains, the Canadian Minister, noted that while “Canadians deserve to be protected from spam and other electronic threats so that they can have confidence in digital technology,” the Canadian government is “committed to striking the right balance&rd ...


AI Spotlight: RAVN Helps U.K. Government Detect Corruption; AI Technology Shows Opportunity in the Practice of Law

 Towards the conclusion of many legal investigations, lawyers typically find themselves mired in paperwork, documents that span several years if not decades of information pertaining to a specific issue.  Legal teams are then tasked with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of sifting through millions of these spreadsheets, emails, and other documents and sorting them into the necessary categories.  Not only is this process extremely inconvenient and inefficient, it is also incredibly costly and runs the risk of missing important information that is relevant to a case, information that could show that fraud has taken place. A few weeks ago, SIIA published an AI Spotlight on the benefits of FICO’s AML Threatscore tool which uses artificial intelligence to detect for irregular financial activities like money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud.  In that same vein, this week’s Spotlight is on AI technology that intuitively aids in the sifting an ...


SEC and Civil Agencies Should Need a Warrant for Remotely-Stored Electronic Content

For years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  has been seeking an administrative agency exception that would enable it to use a subpoena to access email content stored remotely by third parties.  But under current legal precedent, per a 2010 Sixth Circuit decision, United States v. Warshak, it has been precedent that this material should only be accessible with a search warrant. The SEC continues to seek expanded authority, and they question the application of this warrant requirement to civil agencies.  In February, they issued a subpoena to Yahoo to access a user’s email, where the account was owned by a defendant in a securities fraud case.  Yahoo has rightly challenged this action, and the case, Securities and Exchange Commission v. North Star Finance LLC, represents a landmark dispute regarding the government efforts to obtain email content in a civil case with just a subpoena to an email service provider. Unlike a warrant based upon pro ...


G20 Makes the Right Calls on “Harnessing Digitalisation”

The July 7-8, 2017 G20 Leaders’ Declaration includes good language on harnessing digitalization.  SIIA hopes that the ideas in this and other sections of the Declaration will contribute to “Shaping an interconnected world.”   Supporting the free flow of information while respecting applicable legal frameworks for privacy, data protection, and intellectual property rights is the correct approach.  The leaders said that the G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation, which can be found here (see Annex paper 1), will guide future work.  The roadmap contains 11 policy areas where the G20 would like to see action. The G20 wants to improve world-wide access to digital technologies, which means more people need to have access to the Internet.  So, the leaders encourage G20 countries to develop digital strategies that support the ITU’s Global Connect 2020 Agenda goals.  The optimal way to do so is for countries to have a regulatory environme ...


EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement Falls Short on Data Flows

Today, the EU and Japan announced political agreement in principle on an Economic Partnership Agreement.  Overall, this should be a positive development for EU and Japanese workers, consumers, and businesses.  But, it does fall short in one crucial regard.  There is no binding data flow obligation yet.  SIIA put out a statement on this gap today.  Instead of a binding data flow commitment now, the two sides agreed to conclude an accord on data flows in early 2018. 


AI Spotlight: Stagnant Healthcare Policy has not Stopped IBM Watson from Driving Innovation in Medical Care

In our AI spotlight this week, we highlight IBM Watson Health, an element of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing system that utilizes AI and machine learning to accelerate the discovery of new medicine, facilitate personalized care plans and interpret medical tests more efficiently and accurately, among other solutions. These solutions are transformative in solving vital health challenges and essential in improving patient outcomes moving forward.  more

IBM Urges Congress to Refocus Dialogue Surrounding AI

For this reason, IBM Senior Vice President David Kenny sent an open letter to the newly-formed House of Representatives Artificial Intelligence Caucus, urging Congress and the public to “move beyond fear tactics and refocus the AI dialogue on three priorities I believe are core to this discussion: Intent, Skills and Data.” The letter dispels many of the misconceptions surrounding the purpose and economic impact of AI, and it highlights what lawmakers and individuals can do to harness the transformative benefits of AI. more