Public Policy Highlights

ACM provides independent, nonpartisan, and technology-neutral research and resources to policy leaders, other stakeholders, and the public about public policy issues, drawn from the deep expertise of the computing community.

  • Our activities are covered by media outlets in Europe and the United States.
  • We publish a monthly newsletter on technology policy issues for audiences around the world.
  • We reached 40,000+ users through our blog and social media in the first 5 months of 2017.
  • We educated 200+ congressional staff and tech policy leaders during this past year through our briefings, events, and webinars. 
  • We contributed to multistakeholder discussions as panel speakers, discussants, and advisory experts.
  • We provide technical comments responsive to proposed regulations with far-reaching implications for the computing field and society. Browse our comments.
  • We provide thought-leadership on cutting-edge technology policy issues. Browse our statements.
  • We provide detailed, analytical, scientifically sound, and technically accurate policy recommendations and analyses to high-level federal decision makers in Europe and the United States. Browse our policy reports.

Key Highlights

Preventing Harmful Algorithmic Bias – The joint Statement on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability, approved by the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council and the ACM Europe Council Policy Committee, has received major media coverage in the United States and Europe. It has been cited by top scientific advisors, in commitments by companies to disclose their algorithms publicly, and in input by the Royal Society to the UK Parliament.

Recommending Internet of Things Privacy and Security – Through its joint Statement on Internet of Things Privacy and Security, the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council and the ACM Europe Council Policy Committee continued to play a key leadership role in providing thought leadership on cutting-edge developments. The ACM policy groups will continue their efforts to build support and momentum for appropriate privacy and security solutions that also enable innovation in IoT technologies.

Influencing the European Cybersecurity Strategy – The European Commission’s top scientific advisers cited ACM Europe Council Policy Committee’s White Paper on Advancing Cybersecurity Research and Education in Europe and the joint Statement on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability in their report that will help inform a revision of the European Cybersecurity Strategy.

Building International Cybersecurity Cooperation – Five ACM entities have fought hard to secure support for international cybersecurity cooperation through a cybersecurity white paper for European policy leaders, comments to the U.S. government, presentations at U.S.-EU trade negotiations, testimony, and events. A panel program at ACM Europe 2017 in Barcelona in September will further explore the role and importance of international cooperation in addressing cybersecurity solutions.

Strengthening Computing Education and Research Policies - With the STEM Education Coalition, the ACM Education Policy Committee has organized and co-sponsored several briefing sessions on strengthening computing education and research. A May 2017 briefing for the U.S. Congress attracted 100+ U.S. congressional staff and education policy leaders. ACM Europe Council Policy Committee members participated in the Science|Business policy event on Defence R&D in January 2017 and the Science|Business event on "Research Strategies: Europe 2030 and the next Framework Programme" in Brussels in October 2016.

Achieving Legal Safeguards for Computing Researchers - The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council has been involved for a decade with providing scientific and technical evidence for the record to the U.S. Copyright Office as to why legislative, regulatory, and policy changes are needed to provide liability protections for computing professionals engaged in beneficial, non-infringing activities. The Council’s efforts helped achieve the current exemptions for security research on voting systems and on computing programs used to operate consumer-oriented devices and machines, land vehicles, and medical devices. The exemptions benefit computing researchers and consumers.

Modernizing U.S. Regulations for Computing Research Involving Human Subjects – The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council, in collaboration with ACM’s Special Interest Groups, influenced reforms to the regulations used by more than 20 U.S. federal agencies for federally funded research involving human subjects, known as the "Common Rule." The standards are particularly important for computing researchers working on security, information assurance, computer networks, computer-human interaction, accessibility, usability, privacy, security, wearables, and smart devices.

Advancing Accessibility and Usability – ACM's policy committees have worked to advance and achieve the principles of equality and inclusion in the digital environment through input at government meetings, public comments to regulators, legislative reform proposals to foster accessibility research, comments on standards and guidelines, comments on accesibility of voting systems, and events. A forthcoming White Paper on Internet of Things in 2017 by the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council and ACM Europe Council Policy Committee will address accessibility of IoT.



ACM US and Europe Tech Policy Committees Issue Statement on IoT Privacy and Security

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.

Advancing Cybersecurity Research and Education in Europe

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.