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FEB 03, 2021 | US

Inclusive Economic Opportunity Is Focus of BSA’s 2021 US Policy Agenda

Responsible tech policies can extend the benefits of software, support economic recovery

WASHINGTON – February 3, 2021 – BSA | The Software Alliance today released its 2021 US Policy Agenda, outlining nine key areas where the new Congress and Administration can take action to promote equity, expand opportunity, and bolster recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has highlighted and deepened gaps in wealth, education, and digital access. As we struggle to address the impacts of the pandemic, inclusive economic growth must be top of mind. The software industry supports 14.4 million jobs across every industry sector, and those jobs are growing outside traditional tech hubs. But many people cannot access these opportunities because training programs and internet access are not available where they live,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “At the same time, collaboration tools powered by software have unlocked the unprecedented ability to work, learn, and connect from anywhere in the world. BSA stands ready to partner with industry and government to ensure everyone can tap into the promise of the remote economy. We’re also eager to work with policymakers on a host of bipartisan tech policies that will make the US more innovative, secure, and prosperous.”

BSA looks forward to working with the new Congress and Administration in 2021 to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including:

  • Inclusive Economic Opportunity: All Americans deserve access to the opportunities that software and digital services provide. Government and industry should work together to improve access to STEM, cybersecurity and computer science education; enhance alternative pathways to the tech workforce; and expand broadband access.
  • Real Data Privacy: A clear, modernized federal data privacy framework is key to ensure consistent and high privacy standards throughout the US. BSA urges Congress to enact privacy legislation with robust consumer rights, obligations for companies that reflect their role in handling consumer data, and strong enforcement.
  • Smart and Strong Cybersecurity: Recent cyberattacks have laid bare the need for robust cybersecurity practices to keep critical infrastructure, consumer devices, and enterprise technologies safe. Government and industry must partner to encourage interoperability and the use of open standards in 5G networks, ensure supply chain management based on transparent and risk-based data, and promote best practices for secure software development.
  • International Data Agreements and Digital Trade: Strong, enforceable digital trade rules and international data agreements keep US companies competitive. The US should develop trade agreements that enable digital trade and prevent unnecessary data restrictions, develop an enhanced US-EU Privacy Shield, and ensure digital trade controls avoid unintended consequences.
  • Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence: To maintain global leadership in AI development, BSA calls on the US to develop consensus-based standards and industry-led best practices, modernize open data policies, and enhance research and development.
  • Preventing the Proliferation of Harmful Online Content: As policymakers consider whether Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act provides the right incentives to achieve its intended purpose, BSA urges them to consider the impacts of any changes on a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
  • Reset Immigration Policies: The US should adopt responsible and balanced immigration policies to facilitate access to foreign talent and help keep jobs in the US. BSA calls on policymakers to strengthen the H-1B visa program, increase the accessibility of employment-based green cards, and make DACA protections permanent.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: To drive innovation, the US should have technology-neutral patent protection, support copyright laws that protect the rights of creators, and preserve the balanced framework from Section 512 of the DMCA.
  • Law Enforcement Access to Data: BSA stands ready to work with the law enforcement and technology communities to enable lawful access to digital evidence in ways that preserve cyber defenses and reinforce constitutional privacy protections.

To learn more about the tech industry’s policy commitments, read BSA’s full 2021 Policy Agenda here.

ABOUT BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.

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