Posts Under: Policy

SIIA and Congressional Blockchain Caucus Pack a Full House at Yesterday’s Event on “Mainstreaming Blockchain in Business and Government: Separating Hype from Reality”

Yesterday’s event on blockchain, which was framed by SIIA’s Issue Brief, enticed great attendance and sophisticated audience involvement.  You can view the event on Facebook here.  It is worthwhile taking a look even just at the first ten minutes with Congressmen Schweikert’s and Polis’ interventions.  Their commitment and passion for this technology’s potential is palpable.  We are lucky to have this bipartisan approach to reviewing blockchain. We were also lucky to have an all-star cast of panelists: Robert L. Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy; Brian Trackman, Attorney Lead, Counsel, LabCFTC and CFTC Office of General Counsel; Thomas Savage, Lead Blockchain Researcher, Centers for Disease Control; David Egts, Chief Technologist, North America Public Sector, Red Hat; Jon West, Head of Platforms, Technology Department, Thomson Reuters; Angela Angelovska-Wil ...

more

FTC Enforcement of COPPA Shows that Current Law is Working

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) signaled they are serious about enforcing current law with the announcement of the $650,000 fine and 20-year consent decree settling a complaint brought against toy maker, VTech, for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). VTech will pay the fine and is required to not violate COPPA.  It also must implement a comprehensive data security program subject to independent audits for 20 years. The FTC found that VTech, through its internet-connected toys, collected personal information from children under 13 without providing appropriate notice nor obtaining proper consent from the child’s parent. VTech, according to the complaint, did not use reasonable security measures required by COPPA despite stating they do in the available privacy policy. The toy maker suffered a major security breach in 2015 where hackers accessed unencrypted parent and child personal information, including photos and chat logs. ...

more

In Wake of FCC Vote, SIIA Calls for Legislative Solution for Enforceable Net Neutrality Rules

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted yesterday to repeal the Obama Administration’s net neutrality regulations, also known as the “Open Internet Order.”  That order, adopted by the FCC in 2015, reclassified broadband internet access providers as communication service providers for regulation under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, providing the FCC broad authority to regulate “common carriers” and created explicit prohibitions on broadband providers to block or throttle sites or apps or offer paid prioritization of any Internet content. The new rules put in place by the FCC, officially referred to as the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” have been touted as “light touch” regulation by Chairman Ajit Pai, whereby broadband providers will still be required to adhere to transparency requirements regarding their treatment of content, which will be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Earlier thi ...

more

A Fresh Look at Digital Trade in North America: We May be Underestimating the Economic Significance of Data Flows

Last week on December 1, SIIA partnered with George Washington University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation to take “A Fresh Look at Digital Trade in North America.” The livestream can be accessed by anybody who has a Facebook account and is available here.  Pictures from the event can be found here on the Institute for International Economics Facebook page.  There is also Politico reporting from the discussion.  The NAFTA renegotiation is a top SIIA goal and the Association’s priorities can be found in this testimony.    

more

AI Spotlight: Machine Learning and MRIs Combine for Suicide Prevention

After honoring our veterans this past Veteran’s Day, it is also important to shed light on various ways to help ensure that Veterans and others with mental illnesses can receive the care that they may need for scars both visible and invisible.  Sadly, one of the most affected groups of suicide are veterans with an average of 20 Veterans passing away each day due to suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. As written in a previous SIIA AI Spotlight, in the United States, suicide is ranked as the third leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 14, second among people ages 15 to 24, fourth among people ages 35-54, and tenth overall according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  One such tool that may aid in the field of suicide prevention is, unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University developed a machine learning algorithm that, when paired ...

more

AI Landscape: China Overtaking the United States is Possible but Not Inevitable

SIIA has done many artificial intelligence (AI) spotlights this year where we have featured impressive, boundary-breaking technology in the space.  We have also released a handful of issue briefs, culminating in the most recent brief that we’ve released on Algorithms and Ethics.  What we have not done until this point, is feature how different countries and regions across the globe are prepared to handle AI, will benefit from AI, and how they plan to use AI in the future.  In an effort to compare these regions to each other, we will begin publishing the AI Landscape series as an accessory to the AI Spotlight series where we will do just these things.  We begin this series with a feature on China. China According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), global GDP will receive a boost by $16 trillion by 2030 as a result of AI technology.  Nearly half of all that growth will come from China with AI increasing GDP in China by an estimated 1% each year.  C ...

more

Takeaways from Two Georgetown Fintech Week Panels

Last week from October 18-20, Georgetown University hosted its “First Annual Fintech Week.”  The announcement of the event and program can be found here.  Georgetown Law, IIEL, NEX, and Thomson Reuters sponsored Fintech Week.  It was a truly first-class gathering with candid and rich conversations involving industry representatives, tech entrepreneurs, regulators, legal specialists, compliance leaders, law enforcement representatives and others. I attended the October 19 panels entitled “Blockchain & Beyond: Distributed Ledgers and the Future of Payments” and “Combatting the Dark Side of Innovation: Cybersecurity and Money Laundering.”  I am glad I did because the panels touched on mutually relevant issues.  Major takeaways from the panels included the need for partnerships and give and take between partners; the need for interoperability for scale, but maybe inter-sectoral interoperability is not needed for now; bloc ...

more

Google Announces Billion Dollar Investment in Career Tech Ed

The 21st Century job landscape so far has been characterized by the rise in high-tech jobs to support the digital landscape.  The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are currently over six million job openings in the United States due to the lack of applicants that possess necessary technical skills.  With the increase in this type of job availability and the advent of automation, supporting career and technical education are becoming more important than ever. Just last week, Google announced its new initiative called “Grow with Google” where it will spend $1 billion in grants to nonprofits who will train American workers and also help to grow American businesses.  This announcement came in Pittsburgh, historic for its center as a manufacturing hub, showing its evolution into a major tech hub in the rust belt. The billion dollars in grants will mainly support high-tech jobs in an effort to train workers to meet the skill requirements necessar ...

more