SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (December 22, 2021) – The Wasatch Innovation Network in partnership with the Salt Lake Chamber and TechBuzz News addressed the importance of establishing a national data privacy standard, especially to protect the rights of consumers, in its technology policy roundtable with Representative John Curtis last month. Curtis sits on the prominent House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
“With the rise of technology in all aspects of society, the security and privacy of data are on the top of many Americans’ minds,” said Congressman John Curtis, representative for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. “I believe we have an opportunity to work in a bipartisan fashion to update our laws to reflect modern realities of how integrated we are with new innovations. In my position on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will work to ensure our state and our economy remain competitive and innovative.”
Discussion centered on the increasingly urgent need to create a national data privacy standard that will be future proof despite changing technology. Members of the roundtable discussed strategy and tactics to support the consumer’s right to privacy and control of their data, and Congressman Curtis indicated that these are key issues Washington plans to address. Evolving and sophisticated threats to privacy continue to grow, and currently each business develops their own policies in regards to user data. The participants were invited to join the Congressman’s Tech Advisory Committee to meet three or four times a year, probably with the Congressman twice a year.
“The ability of the free market to innovate and create complex business solutions often outpaces government’s ability to craft legislation that adequately protects data and privacy rights,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “One of the goals in creating the Wasatch Innovation Network is to put a greater focus on the policy solutions that can match technology growth and keep our intellectual property and advantage secure. Innovation policy that matches the speed of technological advancement must be our goal. Congressman Curtis’s leadership on these important issues is a win for Utah and the country.”
Executive leaders from several companies participated including from Instructure, Canopy, Strider Technologies, MetaSource, AllegisCyber Capital, 3M and Alianza. The goal of the roundtable was to connect the Wasatch Innovation Network Technology Advisory Committee (WINTAC), made up of industry subject matter experts, with Congressman Curtis to begin a dialogue that advocates and informs policy solutions. Utah led out with data privacy legislation in last year’s legislative session and the growing innovation and entrepreneurial talent in the state expects to shape the national conversation.
“Data is the foundation of the US knowledge economy and powers the growth of the US tech industry as well as millions of small and medium businesses,” said Paul Ahlstrom, chairman of TechBuzz News and co-sponsor of the Wasatch Innovation Network. “Creating a national data policy that strikes the right balance between the growth needs of business and each citizen’s privacy needs is key to sustaining the growth of our economy. We are grateful for Congressman Curtis’ leadership in this area. He is not only listening to his constituents and key stakeholders but driving these important conversations to get to the right answers that will drive sustainable innovation in the US.”
About the Wasatch Innovation Network:
The Wasatch Innovation Network, a joint venture between Salt Lake Chamber and TechBuzz News, is founded on the belief that business leaders are stewards and creators, not just beneficiaries, of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Wasatch Innovation Network will provide a channel for that ecosystem and work to turn vision into reality through collaborating on innovation across industries, planning and creating to accelerate job growth, talent recruitment and economic prosperity. This will benefit the Wasatch Front, State of Utah, and Intermountain West in achieving transformative impact.
About the Salt Lake Chamber:
The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000-plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.
About TechBuzz News:
TechBuzz News is on a mission to shine a spotlight on important things happening in the Utah technology and startup community. We strive to be a fair, independent voice for the Utah tech scene. TechBuzz is a Utah-based news agency collecting and distributing news stories to individuals and other news organizations about the Utah technology sector and general Utah economy via our own website, techbuzz.news, our weekly newsletter, and syndication partners such as UtahBusiness.