BILL MENTIONS: #TheHillTechForum

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On June 16, The Hill hosted a talk titled “The Democratization of Technology: A Discussion on the Accessibility of Innovation.” The conversation centered on open data, the implications and opportunities for innovation by — and collaboration between — the public and private sectors. Watch the event here.

Bill Mentions at #TheHillTechForum:

Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO-2], founder of the bipartisan Congressional Open Source Technology Caucus, spoke about the need to balance data accessibility with privacy protections. He mentioned a bill he co-sponsored with Rep. Messer (H.R. 2092), saying: "[users] ought to be in the driver’s seat with regard to knowledge and consent of how their information is and isn’t being used.”

H.R. 2092: Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Luke Messer [R, IN-6]
The bill codifies the provisions of the Pledge and the Student Data Principles for school service providers to provide for the security, privacy, and integrity of a student’s personal information.

Rep. Polis also said that the federal regulatory framework for intellectual property needs to be updated to allow businesses and startups greater flexibility and room for innovation. He said that one problem area is “overhang from…patent trolls," who buy cheap patents for overly broad sources of code and threaten legal action against those who infringe these patents.

Related bill:

S. 2733 Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016
Sponsor: Sen. Jeff Flake [R, AZ]

Rep. Blake Farenthhold [R, TX-27] spoke about open data and innovation. He said that many Members of Congress are often reluctant to embrace new technologies that bolster data transparency. He also warned that the democratization of technology could blur lines between what is and is not protected by the First Amendment online, a dilemma that the next administration will need to address.

Farenthold mentioned the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, which is currently being implemented to "make federal spending data more accessible, searchable, and reliable." 

Related Bill:

OPEN Government Data Act (H.R. 5051S. 2852
Sponsor: Rep. Derek Kilmer [D, WA-6] / Sen. Brian Schatz [D, HI]
Read section-by-section breakdown of the bill here.

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.