Greetings from Portsmouth, NH!
It was a busy week for privacy-related hearings on Capitol Hill. Wednesday alone, that fabled corporate card nonsense ... er, I mean, Valentine's Day, featured at least three relevant hearings to the profession. Perhaps most notable was the Senate Committee on Commerce Science, and Transportation hearing to interview four of President Donald Trump's nominees to the Federal Trade Commission. Finally, we're starting to see movement in the nation's top consumer protection and privacy agency. Luckily, Angelique Carson was there and has the details below. Looks like it was a pretty ho-hum hearing and now senators have until Feb. 20 to submit questions for the record, and the nominees have until Feb. 26 to answer. It will be interesting to watch how this newly constituted agency will take shape.
That same day, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who has become a leading voice for technology issues on the Hill, held the first of three hearings dedicated to understanding artificial intelligence. His "Game Changers" series, held by the House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Information Technology, featured testimony from Intel, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and NVIDIA. Though I haven't yet had a chance to dive into Wednesday's hearing, Chairman Hurd said, "Over the next three months, the IT Subcommittee will hear from industry professionals as well as government stakeholders with the goal of working together to keep the United States the world leader in artificial intelligence technology." You can see Wednesday's hearing here. This will definitely be an area worth watching in the coming months.
Not to be left out, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology — How cool is that name for a committee? — Wednesday held a fascinating hearing on blockchain technology. I did get a chance to listen on this one and glean some interesting nuggets that will be worth keeping an eye on, if you're interested in the future of blockchain innovation. Representatives from NIST, IBM and Walmart, among others, discussed the current work and potential innovation for this decentralized technology. Without getting too deep into the weeds, there are some really interesting public-private initiatives underway as we speak. It's important to note, too, that blockchain isn't just applicable to finance. There is a whole host of potential uses for blockchain, from data and identity management to supply chain tracking and beyond. And yes, for those of you who are somewhat familiar with this area, work is being done to come up with quantum-resilient systems. One of my big takeaways is that there seems to be agreement that government should avoid regulating non-cryptocurreny innovation for the time being.
Be sure to keep an eye on our Privacy Tech column in the coming weeks and months as we roll out more articles on this burgeoning innovation.
Which brings me to our new Privacy Engineering Section and Forum. We're super excited about this new section and event and hope those of you who are working in privacy engineering, or related IT fields, will check this out. The Forum will be held the day after Summit on Thursday, March 29. Like our Privacy Bar Section Forum, this event will feature a half-day of programming and networking.
It's hard to believe our Global Privacy Summit is a matter of weeks away. I can assure you, we're ramping up. I hope to see you there!
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