More Than Six Decades of Leadership Experience Within the Computing Community
ACM provides independent, nonpartisan, and technology-neutral research and resources to policy leaders, stakeholders, and the public about public policy issues, drawn from the deep technical expertise of the computing community.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee serves as the focal point for ACM's interaction with US government organizations, the computing community, and the US public in all matters of US public policy related to information technology. The Committee addresses issues in innovation, privacy, security, digital governance, intellectual property, accessibility, and e-voting.
The ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee promotes dialogue and the exchange of ideas on technology and computing policy issues with the European Commission, member states' governmental bodies, and the informatics and computing communities.
New ACM US Technology Policy Committee Chair
Jim Hendler has been named Chair of the ACM US Technology Policy Committee, succeeding Stuart Shapiro. Hendler is Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences; Director, Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications; and Director, RPI-IBM Center on Health Empowerment by Analytics, Learning and Semantics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Oliver Grau Named ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee Chair
Oliver Grau has been named Chair of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee. He is Associate Director of Operations of at Intel's Visual Computing Institute in Germany. Previously he worked for more than a decade at BBC R&D in the UK. Grau is also a member of the ACM Europe Council.
The white paper "When Computers Decide: European Recommendations on Machine-Learned Automated Decision Making" presents the views of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee and Informatics Europe (IE) on the challenges posed by the increasing presence of Machine Learning and Automated Decision Making (ADM) systems in almost every aspect of modern human life.
The ACM Europe Council and Informatics Europe have collaborated on a report that builds on an earlier document, "Informatics Education in Europe: Are We All in the Same Boat?". The report, "Informatics for All: The Strategy," aims to establish Informatics as an essential discipline for all, a subject available at all levels throughout the educational system. The strategy is also summarized in a one-page document.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee and the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee have released a Statement on Internet of Things Privacy and Security addressing existing and expected privacy and security concerns in the IoT ecosystem. The principles in the statement propose policy and technical approaches to tackle privacy and security challenges while ensuring that the technology continues to move forward.
Recognizing the ubiquity of algorithms in our daily lives, as well as their far-reaching impact, the ACM US Technology Policy Committee and the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee have issued a statement and a list of seven principles designed to address potential harmful bias. The US ACM committee approved the principles earlier this year, and the European ACM committee approved them on May 25.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee has commented on a Supreme Court hearing addressing a cutting-edge case that is at the intersection of information technology and civil liberties. Carpenter v. United States, the Court will decide whether the Constitution requires that the government obtain a warrant in order to seize records revealing historical locations and movements of cell phone users. At issue is the legality of potentially indiscriminate government surveillance.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee has reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to accessibility by releasing a statement and set of principles on accessibility, usability, and digital inclusiveness. Promoting digital inclusiveness for people with disabilities, as well as policies, regulations, and guidelines that ensure fair access to the opportunities that arise from digital innovations, has been an ongoing priority for the Committee.
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The ACM US Technology Policy Committee hosted a panel event on “Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability” on September 14 at the National Press Club in Washington. The panel providee a forum for a discussion between stakeholders and leading computer scientists about the growing impact of algorithmic decision-making on our society and the technical underpinnings of algorithmic models. A video of the event is now available.
A new report on cybersecurity policy published by the European Commission’s top scientific advisers cites the ACM US Technology Policy Committee’s White Paper on “Advancing Cybersecurity Research and Education in Europe” and the ACM US Technology Policy Committee’s Principles on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability. Among the report’s recommendations, the scientific advisers call for global cybersecurity cooperation.
ACM is sponsoring a new three-year initiative by the National Academies of Sciences on data science postsecondary education. A series of roundtable discussions will bring together representatives from academia, industry, funding agencies, and professional societies to explore the transformative impacts of data, the needs of the diverse data science communities, the implications for employers, and ways to define and strengthen postsecondary education programs and opportunities for students.
ACM's US Tech Policy Committee submitted comments on the US Department of Commerce's green paper on “Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things.” The comments expressed support for ensuring that IoT environments are inclusive, accessible, and usable for consumers, workers, and businesses. The comments urged the Department to address algorithmic capabilities, privacy, and security more fully within the final report.
In its Statement on Computing and Network Security, the ACM US Technology Policy Committee identified nine principles that entities should follow to protect their systems from threats. The group highlights the need for robust protections to secure computing and network systems and proposes that these recommendations be adopted going forward.
The ACM Education Policy Committee is a high-level committee of acclaimed computer scientists and educators dedicated to improving opportunities for quality education in computer science and computing-related fields. Chaired by Bobby Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, the Education Policy Committee develops initiatives aimed at shaping education policies that impact the computing field. A primary goal of the EPC is to ensure that computer science education is recognized in educational initiatives at all levels of the educational pipeline.
ACM's US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) is joining with organzations including the National Election Defense Coalition, R Street Institute, and Common Cause to release a report citing concerns on the security of internet and email voting. The report cites the increasing impact of cyberattacks on ballots in transit; malware on the voter’s computer/device; voter authentication; server attacks; and more. Recommendations include a return to paper ballots and other "low-tech" measures.
The Association for Computing Machinery, a global scientific and educational organization representing the computing community, expresses concern over US President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order imposing suspension of visas to nationals of six countries.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee made detailed recommendations to Congress for protecting personal privacy in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy. The Committee’s statement was submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security for inclusion in the record of the Subcommittee’s June 19 hearing entitled “Cambridge Analytica and Other Facebook Partners: Examining Data Privacy Risks.”
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee has issued a statement on goverment-mandated extraordinary access to user-controlled encryption systems by law enforcement. "All presently known means of engineering extraordinary access to encrypted user information necessarily would introduce security vulnerabilities that would expose the involved systems to attack by malicious or otherwise extra-legal actors," the Committee stated, among other findings.
The ACM US Technology Policy Committee's letter to US Senators and Representatives raised concerns about breaches of privacy and public trust resulting from Facebook’s and outside parties’ use and misuse of Facebook users’ data. It offered five key observations on the implications and possible causes of the data breaches, citing compromising business practices; systemic deficiencies; the need to adhere to ethical standards (such as ACM's Code of Ethics); large datasets and increased computational power; and synergies among technologies.
Based on the belief that the benefits of emerging technologies should not come at the expense of personal privacy, the ACM US Technology Policy Committee has issued a statement outlining principles and practices for building data privacy into modern technological systems. These include limiting and minimizing collection of personal data; the ability of individuals to control how their personal data are distributed and used; and ensuring quality and security of personal data. Read more in the news release.
ACM has joined AAAI, CRA, IEEE, SIAM, and USENIX in opposing provisions contained in H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which would discourage graduate careers in computing research and reduce available research funding. They state that eliminating current IRS code that allows tuition waivers for students working as teaching and research assistants to be exempt from taxable income would dramatically increase the cost of graduate student education in computing, and likely discourage students from pursuing graduate degrees, while reducing funding available for research.
A new policy white paper by the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee, "Advancing Cybersecurity Research and Education in Europe: Major Drivers of Growth in the Digital Landscape," explores the important role of cybersecurity research and education in enhancing cybersecurity, and provides an overview of emerging trends and challenges, including new privacy and security concerns.
On February 14, the ACM Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education received public policy attention at a congressional hearing on “Strengthening US Cybersecurity Capabilities.” The hearing before the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology aimed to review and discuss cybersecurity policy recommendations provided by recent reports. In her testimony, Joint Task Force Co-Chair Diana Burley strongly urged the federal government to leverage the efforts of the ACM Joint Task Force, namely the CSEC2017 curriculum guidance.