On May 12, 2022, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with co-sponsors Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR),introduced the Secure Research Data Network Act, establishing pilot projects for privacy-enhancing technologies at the National Science Foundation. On behalf of the Data Coalition members, Data Foundation President Nick Hart issued the following statement on the legislative proposal:
As our society increasingly uses data to inform decision-making for individuals, businesses, and policymakers, we must continually pursue innovations and enhancements to protect and secure information. The Secure Research Data Network Act promotes the exploration of privacy-enhancing technologies by directing the National Science Foundation to conduct pilot projects with strong oversight, clear transparency, and the potential to improve upon existing capabilities for data sharing in government. Launching a series of pilot projects for approaches like multi-party computation ensures that full consideration may be provided to how new approaches can be integrated into existing privacy laws and data use practices to responsibly enhance insights about important policy challenges, while also testing approaches for improving how information is used. The Secure Research Data Network Act also aligns with a recommendation from the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking for the federal government to further explore and invest in demonstration projects of privacy-enhancing technologies. The Data Coalition supports the Secure Research Data Network Act and efforts to ensure goals for data sharing and privacy protections are jointly achieved.
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