ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee
The ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee promotes dialogue and the exchange of ideas on technology and computing policy issues with the European Commission and other governmental bodies in Europe, and the informatics and computing communities. The Committee engages in policy issues related to the importance of technology in boosting jobs, economic growth, competition, investment, research and development, education, inclusive social development, and innovation.
The Committee promotes sound public policy and public understanding of a broad range of issues at the intersection of technology and policy. Its policy statements reflect the expertise of ACM Europe Council professional members from the public and private sectors experienced in informatics, computer science, and other computing-related subjects.
As the internet is global, the Committee works with other ACM entities on publications, projects, and policies related to emergent cross-border issues, such as e-privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, and internet governance.
Europe TPC provided the European Commission with specific suggestions for how best to implement newly adopted legislation regarding High Value Datasets. Its key point was that important components of established “FAIR” principles omitted from that statute be expressly included in the pending implementing legislation, particularly provisions addressing the findability and accessibility of data.
The Committee responded to a detailed “radio button” questionnaire and supplemented its selections with several key written points, including: endorsing the promotion of secure-by-design and secure-by-default engineering approaches; warning of an increased likelihood of state actors, or their proxies, using cyber-attacks; and urging the development of secure-by-design principles specific to machine learning systems.
- Chris Hankin
- Vice Chair
- Paola Inverardi
- Former Chair
- Fabrizio Gagliardi
- Executive Committee
- Fabrizio Gagliardi
- Oliver Grau
- Chris Hankin
- Manuel Hermenegildo
- Paola Inverardi
- Autonomous Systems Working Group Chair
- Gerhard Schimpf
- Differential AI Working Group Chair
- Alejandro Saucedo
- Climate Change Working Group Chair
- Bran Knowles
- Cybersecurity Working Group, Chair
- Chris Hankin
- Tom Crick
- Wendy Hall
- Andrew McGettrick
- Enrico Nardelli
- Gurkan Solmaz
- Julie Williamson
- ACM President, ex officio
- Yannis Ioannidis
- ACM-W Committee Liaison, ex officio
- Natasa Milic-Frayling
- ACM Chief Executive Officer, ex officio
- Vicki Hanson
- ACM Chief Operating Officer, ex officio
- Patricia Ryan
- ACM Director of Global Policy, ex officio
- Adam Eisgrau
Europe TPC's Comments endorsed the Commission’s intent to ensure "fairness in the allocation of value from data among actors in the data economy and to foster access to and use of data," while specifically urging that the proposed Data Act: be expanded to encompass metadata; address foreseeable environmental impacts; and minimise data processing's complexity and cost.
Europe TPC’s Comments support the Commission’s goal of enabling Europe to become more self-reliant in semiconductor manufacturing. It notes, however, that the proposed Chips Act fails to take into account the climate impact of such manufacturing in its proposed framework. That represents a missed opportunity to further the European Union’s Green Deal objectives that should be redressed.
As policy makers strive to update established bodies of law for the digital age, the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee provides the European Commission with both general guidance and specific suggestions for addressing product liability issues uniquely raised by the advent of artificial intelligence.
ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee's contributions to the European Commission's intermediate-range plans for a productive digital future included encouraging universal digital literacy, advancing neuromorphic computing, and realistically assessing the pros and cons of technologies intended to mitigate climate change.
In Comments submitted to the European Commission, ACM's Europe Technology Policy Committee endorses the adoption of Digital Principles to, for example: provide robust and equitable access to the internet; protect user privacy; promote e-government and e-health services; combat climate change; protect and empower children online; foster digital literacy through universal Informatics education; and promote ethical algorithm design.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee provided Comments to the European Commission on a Proposal by the European Council and Parliament for a new regulation establishing harmonised rules for the use of artificial intelligence. Key Committee recommendations address: protecting public health and safety, assuring personal privacy, and closing the current scientific “skills gap” through informatics education while creating a diverse workforce.
In comments filed in the European Commission’s Health Data Space consultation, ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee cautioned that the pervasive deployment of AI algorithms could lead to the de-skilling of healthcare professionals, warning that “permitting a human 'the last word' in such systems is not sufficient to address this issue. What is needed are real human/AI partnerships.”
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee submitted a statement to the European Parliament's LIBE Committee on the use of proposed Digital Green Certificates to permit point-of-use access to personal health and other data of certificate holders between and among European Union Member States. Among Europe TPC's recommendations were to work with the World Health Organization to develop an international directory; and to protect EU citizens from “data inference,” or the risk that a verifier could infer secondary health data from an individual’s vaccination status alone.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee sent comments on the Digital Services Act to the European Commission ahead of a final determination regarding its adoption. It underscored two key points: 1) the success of the DSA will depend upon the ability of platforms and other regulated entities to successfully deploy automated content moderation systems; and 2) functioning of the DSA’s proposed regulatory regime will depend upon non-governmental technical experts for the effective audit of platforms’ and others’ compliance with the Act.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee submitted comments to the Directorate General for Climate Action of the European Commission in support of the comprehensive and ambitious sweep of the Commission’s Green Deal. ACM Europe TPC strongly concurs with the Commission’s premise that realizing true energy efficiencies in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector will be critical to Europe’s success in meeting the Green Deal’s appropriately aggressive climate targets.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee issued detailed principles and practices for the development and deployment of contact tracing technology intended to track and arrest the spread of COVID-19. The statement calls on governments that adopt such systems to choose "only those which... respect and protect the rights of all individuals; safeguard personal data and privacy to the highest degree technically possible; and are subject to scrutiny by the scientific community and civil society before, during and after deployment." Read the statement in Italian here and in French here.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee has formally urged the UK government to assure that its National Data Strategy provide for datasets that are open, subject to multidisciplinary expert review, protected by robust risk assessment, and compiled in consultation with marginalized communities to assure their benefit to all sectors of society.
Responding to an invitation from the European Parliament, members of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee (TPC) Panagiota Fatourou (Chair, ACM Europe Council), Chris Hankin (Chair, ACM Europe TPC), and Bran Knowles (Member, ACM Europe TPC) wrote an in-depth white paper on Gender Bias in Automated Decision Making (ADM) Systems. The paper discusses how bias resulting from the use of machine-learned ADM systems can impact gender equality, including employment processes such as job recruitment and screening.
Chris Hankin Named ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee Chair
Chris Hankin has been named Chair of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee. Hankin is Professor of Computer Science at Imperial College London where he is a Fellow of the Institute for Security Science and Technology. He is past chair of the ACM Europe Council and a member of the ACM Publications Board.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee submitted comments to the European Commission on "Artificial Intelligence—A European approach to excellence and trust," which addresses the future of AI in Europe. The comments, submitted in questionnaire form, asked the Commission to rate priorities based on their perceived importance, such as skills and training; public/private partnerships; and financing for startups.
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.
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.
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 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.
A new report on cybersecurity policy published by the European Commission’s top scientific advisers cites the ACM Europe 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.