On May 12, 2021, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced the National Secure Data Service Act (H.R. 3133), calling for the establishment of a data service at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The proposal was also attached to the NSF for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) as an amendment on May 13, 2021. On behalf of the Data Coalition members, Data Foundation President Nick Hart issued the following statement on the legislative proposal:
The National Secure Data Service Act responsibly addresses a major gap in our country’s data infrastructure by establishing a new capability for sharing, combining, and using data with strong privacy safeguards. Creating a data service at the National Science Foundation is a practical, cost-effective, and much-needed resource for researchers and data analysts to provide decision-makers with information they need for evidence-based policymaking, including to support implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018.
Building on the bipartisan and unanimous recommendations from the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, a consensus proposal from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and a suggested roadmap from the Data Foundation, the National Secure Data Service Act creates an expectation for NSF to make rapid progress in launching a data service and transparently supporting government-wide evidence-building activities. The Data Coalition calls on Congress to pass the National Secure Data Service Act to enable long-overdue and modern data capabilities alongside responsible privacy protections.
The Data Coalition is an initiative of the non-profit Data Foundation. The membership-based initiative facilitates a strong national data community and advocates for responsible policies to make government data high-quality, accessible, and usable. The Data Coalition’s work unites the data communities that focus on data science, management, evaluation, statistics, and technology, including individuals in companies, nonprofit organizations, and academia.