US Policy Arm of World’s Largest Association of Computing Professionals Releases Letter to US Congress on Facebook Data Compromises

USACM Cites Systemic Deficiencies in a Range of Processes

Washington, DC, April 10, 2018—The Association for Computing Machinery’s US Public Policy Council (USACM) yesterday released a letter to key US Legislators in advance of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the US Senate and House of Representatives.

USACM members argued that, beyond the Facebook data compromises, government and the wider society must understand how privacy and trust in an era of big data, pervasive networks and socially embedded platforms must be addressed in order to promote the public interest broadly in society, including the integrity of democratic institutions. Key points from the USACM letter to Congress include:

  • Facebook’s actions and omissions appear to stem from systemic deficiencies in a range of processes considered essential by computing professionals, including proactive risk assessment and management, as well as protecting security and privacy by design.
  • The scale, depth and consequences of the data, technical and ethical breaches in the Facebook case are unlikely to be confined to a single company or industry.
  • ACM strongly calls for Congress to comprehensively revisit whether the public interest can adequately be protected by current legal definitions of consent, the present scope of federal enforce­ment authority, and existing penalties for breach of the public’s privacy and trust on a massive scale.
  • Congress is urged to consider new and holistic ways of conceptualizing privacy and its protection.

About USACM and ACM

The ACM US Public Policy Council (USACM) serves as the focal point for ACM's interaction with the US government in matters of US public policy related to information technology. ACM US Public Policy Council statements represent the views of the Council and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association. ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.

Contact:
Jim Ormond
ACM
212-626-0505
ormond@hq.acm.org

Adam Eisgrau
Director of Global Policy and Public Affairs
202-580-6555
eisgrau@hq.acm.org

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