Digital Policy Roundup

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White House Holds Patent Event
With Congress in recess this week, the Administration will pick up the torch on patent reform, holding a White House event on Thursday to highlight the progress on the Administration’s patent policy agenda. The event marks the one-year anniversary of the President’s call to action to combat the problem of “patent trolls” and abusive patent litigation, and will feature keynote addresses by senior administration officials, including PTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee, on the status of the reform agenda announced on June 4, 2013 and other efforts underway.

FTC Mobile Tracking Conference this Week
On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a conference on Mobile Device Tracking to explore the ways that “businesses have begun tracking consumers’ movements throughout and around retail stores and other attractions using technologies that identify signals emitted by their mobile devices.” The event will explore a key area of concern for the FTC: company use of technologies to reveal information about consumers, particularly where this tracking is invisible to consumers and occurs with no consumer interaction.

Administration Publishes Cyber Framework
Last week was the one year mark for the President Obama’s executive order (EO) on Cybersecurity, and as directed by the EO, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) officially unveiled the Cybersecurity Framework. SIIA and many of our members provided input into the development of the Framework, and wecommended NIST for working expeditiously to produce a Cybersecurity Framework that leverages industry-led standards, and creates effective and flexible best practices for companies. It is a critical cybersecurity priority for SIIA is to preserve IT innovation and technology neutrality, and we are confident that this Framework will help achieve those goals. We look forward to continue collaborating with NIST as they identify gaps and evolve the framework, and with the Department of Homeland Security as they work to implement this.

Privacy-Facial Rec. Discussions Begin
Also last week, the Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) held the first meeting of their privacy multistakeholder discussions on the Commercial Use of Facial Recognition Technology. Similar to the first NTIA initiative on Mobile Transparency, the goal of these talks is to produce a voluntary but enforceable code of conduct to guide businesses in their use of the technology. SIIA was a leading stakeholder in the effort to develop the mobile code of conduct, and we are looking forward to engage in these important discussions. The next meeting will take place on Feb. 25th, and SIIA will provide an update for members after that meeting to report on the progress and next steps for these important discussions.

David David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.