THINKPolicy Blog http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy IBM policy perspectives for the digital age Thu, 23 Jul 2020 17:35:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 IBM Policy Lab Live: Responsibility in Tech’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/ibm-policy-lab-live-pandemic-tech-responsibility/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 20:50:14 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39309 On Thursday, July 23, the IBM Policy Lab launched IBM Policy Lab Live with a panel discussion on “Responsibility in Tech’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Panelists included: Christina Montgomery, IBM Chief Privacy Officer Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers Lucrezia Busa, Member of Cabinet for European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, Policy Lead for AI, Data […]

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On Thursday, July 23, the IBM Policy Lab launched IBM Policy Lab Live with a panel discussion on “Responsibility in Tech’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Panelists included:

  • Christina Montgomery, IBM Chief Privacy Officer
  • Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers
  • Lucrezia Busa, Member of Cabinet for European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, Policy Lead for AI, Data Protection and Digital
  • Moderator: Nicol Turner Lee, Brookings Institution Director of the Center for Technology Innovation

WATCH THE REPLAY.

About the Event: In the face of the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic, governments, companies and researchers have looked to technology for solutions, including ways to assist in social distancing and contact tracing. With new tech solutions come new privacy and data protection considerations. The conversation explored the questions facing policymakers and governments as they explore tech-aided solutions to the pandemic and the best ways to ensure technology solutions are trusted.

 

About IBM Policy Lab
The IBM Policy Lab is a forum providing policymakers with a vision and actionable recommendations to harness the benefits of innovation while ensuring trust in a world being reshaped by data. As businesses and governments break new ground and deploy technologies that are positively transforming our world, we work collaboratively on public policies to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Sign up for the IBM Policy Lab newsletter for our latest updates:

Media Contact:
Jordan Humphreys
jordan.humphreys@ibm.com

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Accelerating the Path Towards AI Transparency http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/ai-transparency-factsheets/ Fri, 17 Jul 2020 10:10:48 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39291 When you’re grocery shopping, you may check an item’s nutrition label to discover its calorie or sugar content. This crucial information helps people make informed decisions about their eating habits and ultimately their health. A similar kind of transparency is what we should expect in AI systems, especially when they are used in the context […]

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When you’re grocery shopping, you may check an item’s nutrition label to discover its calorie or sugar content. This crucial information helps people make informed decisions about their eating habits and ultimately their health. A similar kind of transparency is what we should expect in AI systems, especially when they are used in the context of high-stakes decisions, such as in healthcare, public or financial services, and justice.

That’s why IBM is proud of our participation in the European Commission High Level Expert Group on AI, which recently published the final version of its Assessment List for Trustworthy AI (ALTAI). The ALTAI provides a comprehensive self-evaluation checklist of ethical and principles-led questions for organizations to consider when developing and deploying AI systems. We believe it will be a valuable tool to help guide organizations during the actual process of designing and building AI in a responsible way.

We also believe it is important for industry to contribute supplemental efforts aimed at improving transparency in AI. To that end, earlier this month, we launched an AI FactSheets 360 website that presents a first of its kind methodology for how to assemble documentation or “fact sheets” about an AI model’s important features, such as its purpose, performance, datasets, characteristics, and more. Within each step of the methodology, we describe the issues to consider and the questions to explore with the relevant people involved in creating and consuming the facts that go into an AI FactSheet. The website also shares an approach to AI Lifecycle Governance and a collection of example FactSheets, research papers, and other resources for anyone to use.

The concept of an AI FactSheet is very flexible. Different users will need different types of information. Likewise, different AI applications or use cases will implicate different information needs. Also, an AI FactSheet is not meant to explain every technical detail or disclose proprietary information about an algorithm. Rather, the goal is to promote human decision-making in the use, development, and deployment of AI systems, while also accelerating developers’ education on AI ethics and their broader adoption of the concepts of transparency and documentation.

For the past several years, government calls for policy provisions to ensure principled, trustworthy AI have been building, as evidenced by statements like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Principles on AI. But while principles are crucial for setting a direction and establishing guardrails in a complex and evolving area, they are not enough on their own. Recognizing this, many stakeholders are now moving towards putting principles into practice. If 2019 was the year of AI principles, 2020 should be the year we actually translate those principles into concrete and actionable initiatives that help companies develop and deliver trustworthy AI.

For example, the OECD’s ONE.AI work on practical implementation guidance, ongoing AI ethics standards development work at organizations like the IEEE, and the newly launched Global Partnership on AI are all helping to advance the dialogue on AI transparency and make it more concrete.

Efforts like these – supplemented by industry initiatives like the AI FactSheet – will all deliver valuable contributions in promoting trustworthy AI through greater transparency. However, governments can and should do more to help drive consensus around AI transparency policy. Governments should work with industry and other partners to consider:

  • Strengthening mechanisms for global coordination on AI transparency-enabling best practices;
  • Using multistakeholder environments to drive consensus around clear and consistent standards and best practices for AI transparency by documentation;
  • Recognizing the various information needs of different AI users, from developers to consumers in any regulatory framework and policy; and
  • Explaining how transparency tools can help regulators better meet their goals of protecting consumers and citizens.

Flexible mechanisms like the ALTAI and AI FactSheets can help foster transparent and accountable AI. By placing ethical considerations – such as human agency, technical robustness and safety, fairness, transparency, and other requirements – at the core of organizational conversations around best practices in developing and deploying AI, initiatives like these can help promote greater consensus and consistency in how companies and policy makers think and act about these issues.

This is the start, not the end, of these conversations.

 

Francesca Rossi, IBM AI Ethics Global Leader and IBM Fellow

 

 

 

Aleksandra Mojsilovi?, IBM Research Head of AI Foundations, Co-Director of IBM Science for Social Good, and IBM Fellow

 

 

About IBM Policy Lab
The IBM Policy Lab is a new forum providing policymakers with a vision and actionable recommendations to harness the benefits of innovation while ensuring trust in a world being reshaped by data. As businesses and governments break new ground and deploy technologies that are positively transforming our world, we work collaboratively on public policies to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Sign up for the IBM Policy Lab newsletter for our latest updates:

Media Contact:
Jordan Humphreys
jordan.humphreys@ibm.com

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IBM Statement on Schrems Decision and Standard Contractual Clauses http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/schrems-decision/ Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:53:04 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39267 “IBM welcomes the confirmation by the European Court of Justice that Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) are a valid mechanism for international data transfers. We have always put responsible, efficient and transparent data transfers at the core of IBM products and services and have used SCCs as our main mechanism to transfer data in a trusted […]

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“IBM welcomes the confirmation by the European Court of Justice that Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) are a valid mechanism for international data transfers. We have always put responsible, efficient and transparent data transfers at the core of IBM products and services and have used SCCs as our main mechanism to transfer data in a trusted manner from Europe to the United States.

“While we are carefully assessing the details of the Court’s ruling and invalidation of the EU-US Privacy Shield, we are fully confident that IBM’s long-standing use of SCCs will enable us to continue serving clients globally and on both sides of the Atlantic with trust and security, and without interruption.”

-Christina Montgomery, Vice President and
Chief Privacy Officer, IBM

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IBM helps launch new campaign to get Americans on pathways to new collar jobs http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/jobs-skills-hiring/ Tue, 14 Jul 2020 12:36:05 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39255 IBM together with Apple, the White House and the Ad Council today launched a new workforce readiness campaign, Find Something New, to help Americans of all ages and backgrounds get the skills needed for modern, in-demand careers. IBM Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty, who also serves as a co-chair on the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, […]

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IBM together with Apple, the White House and the Ad Council today launched a new workforce readiness campaign, Find Something New, to help Americans of all ages and backgrounds get the skills needed for modern, in-demand careers. IBM Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty, who also serves as a co-chair on the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, issued the following statement applauding the new campaign:

“When Americans have access to the skills, training and education needed to make the modern workforce more inclusive, it benefits all of society. If we help enough people find career pathways that work for them, we can close America’s opportunity gap and expand prosperity across the country.

“At IBM, I’ve seen how providing in-demand skills can be life changing for students and workers, regardless of their backgrounds. The Find Something New campaign will help more Americans discover new pathways to develop these skills and begin ‘new collar’ careers, which is essential to the U.S. economy as our country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Visit the Find Something New website here.

 

Media Contact:
Isabel Pe?a Alfaro
isabel.penaalfaro@ibm.com

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IBM Comments on US Section 301 investigation into Digital Services Taxes http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/section-301-dst-comments/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 14:35:06 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39216 Today, IBM submitted the following letter to the United States Trade Representative in response to a request for comments on Section 301 investigations into Digital Services Taxes:   July 9, 2020 The Honorable Robert Lighthizer United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20006   SUBJECT: Request for Comments on the Initiation of […]

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Today, IBM submitted the following letter to the United States Trade Representative in response to a request for comments on Section 301 investigations into Digital Services Taxes:

 

July 9, 2020

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006

 

SUBJECT: Request for Comments on the Initiation of Section 301 investigations with respect to Digital Services Taxes (DSTs) adopted or under consideration by Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

 

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

The IBM Corporation respectfully submits this written response to USTR’s request for comments regarding the initiation of Section 301 investigations with respect to ten governments’ adoption or consideration of Digital Services Taxes (DSTs).

IBM continues to support the process in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to identify an international consensus on reforming tax rules for the digital global economy.? We strongly encourage the United States to continue engaging through the OECD.

While a number of other technology companies have supported an investigation under Section 301, IBM has significant reservations about this approach.? In particular, we believe that the use of unilateral, retaliatory measures would carry serious risk for the broader U.S. economy.

Specifically, if the United States were to move forward with unilateral tariffs or other punitive trade or tax measures under Section 301, other governments will likely apply counter-retaliatory measures, negatively impacting multiple U.S. sectors.? This dispute is principally about the insufficient payment – or non-payment – of taxes by a limited number of large internet-based platform companies in the United States.? Yet the imposition of tariffs by the United States, and the attendant retaliation against American commercial interests that would undoubtedly occur, would affect a very broad swath of the U.S. economy.? The approach the Administration has adopted would, in effect, impose significant costs on very many U.S. companies to protect the interests of only a very few.? We therefore believe the use of Section 301 in this case is unwise and unwarranted.? Should USTR nevertheless conclude in this investigation that action is warranted, we recommend the pursuit of remedies only through established institutions such as the OECD or the World Trade Organization.

It is notable that countries considering DSTs are, in fact, engaged at the OECD.? It is disturbing, therefore, that the Treasury Department recently announced that the United States would suspend participation in OECD discussions to resolve this very dispute.? Unilateral retaliatory actions, such as tariffs or withdrawal from OECD negotiations, are premature and could lead to escalating tit-for-tat retaliation with negative consequences for the U.S. and global economies.

IBM urges the Administration to reengage in the OECD tax discussions to protect U.S. business interests and ensure the stability and certainty of international tax rules. At this time of economic uncertainty and dislocation, engagement and dialogue with the goal of a broad consensus are especially necessary.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Christopher Padilla

Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs
IBM Corporation

(Download the PDF letter here)

 

Media Contact:
Jordan Humphreys
jordan.humphreys@ibm.com

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IBM Calls on South Carolina, Arkansas, and Wyoming to Enact a Hate Crimes Law http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/hate-crimes-law/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 15:26:27 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39188 With America still reeling from the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and broad national outcry over racial injustice, IBM this week sent letters to the Governors of three states–South Carolina, Arkansas, and Wyoming—that do not have hate crime laws on the books. The letters urged South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Arkansas […]

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With America still reeling from the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and broad national outcry over racial injustice, IBM this week sent letters to the Governors of three states–South Carolina, Arkansas, and Wyoming—that do not have hate crime laws on the books.

The letters urged South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, to work to pass a hate crimes law in their respective states that would strengthen the application of justice in our society. With Georgia having recently enacted a hate crime law, the time is now to ensure that hate crimes are treated harshly under the law everywhere in this country.

In the letters, IBM also pledged to work with business and community leaders in each state, and members of the state legislatures, to build bipartisan support for hate crimes legislation. Advocating for the enactment of hate crimes laws in states where we conduct business is an obligation IBM feels deeply given our history and values.

These letters are a first step. Much work remains to be done, and IBM is committed to standing-up for equality and fairness and fighting discrimination everywhere IBMers live and work.

You can view PDFs of the letters below.

Media Contact:
Sarah Minkel
sarah.minkel@ibm.com

Download the PDF letter to Governor McMaster here
Download the PDF letter to Governor Hutchinson here
Download the PDF letter to Governor Gordon here

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GDPR’s Birthday Wishlist: Greater Harmonization and Robust Data Transfer Mechanisms http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/gdpr-review/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 05:02:01 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=38947 Two years ago, on 25 May 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force. On this anniversary, the COVID-19 pandemic has in an unprecedented way underlined the need to use data to safeguard people’s health, accelerate research, benefit governments, and to support the resilience of the economy. Most of the important steps […]

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Two years ago, on 25 May 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force. On this anniversary, the COVID-19 pandemic has in an unprecedented way underlined the need to use data to safeguard people’s health, accelerate research, benefit governments, and to support the resilience of the economy. Most of the important steps to help citizens and economies not only require data, but also trusted and secure solutions which rely on data to flow freely and between different countries. IBM has resources to share — like supercomputing power, virus mapping and an AI assistant to answer citizens’ questions — that depend on such data flows. Privacy, trust and transparency are fundamental to all technologies and their ethical deployment.

 

Data protection has been for years an important issue on the agenda of political stakeholders in the EU. But in the current climate, the so-called GDPR review of the European Commission marks an even more important reality check for the GDPR. The report, which focuses, among other things, on questions around harmonization and data transfers to countries outside of the EU, will be presented to the public today.

 

Greater Harmonization

The GDPR greatly improved the European privacy landscape. One of the underlying reasons the GDPR was established was that companies with multiple footholds in the EU would now easily interact with only one single Data Protection Authority (DPA) instead of 27. But harmonization of GDPR rules and their diverging interpretations remain one of the big hurdles, as Member States are still able to develop their own rules, for example on sensitive data such as health data. DPAs issue guidance on several topics such as cookies, mandatory risk assessments (DPIAs), or the use of employee health data to return safely to the workplace. Divergences among EU Member States’ recommendations add a layer of complexity, which should be avoided by improving cooperation – both between DPAs and with stakeholders — and guidance from the European Data Protection Board. New privacy laws – such as the proposed European e-Privacy regulation – should take this into account and strive for strong alignment with GDPR rules to avoid further fragmentation and legal uncertainty.

 

Robust Data Transfer Mechanisms

Another focus of the European Commission’s GDPR review is on data flows to third countries outside the EU. Cross-border data flows are necessary for companies to operate globally and to provide services to their customers, across sectors and geographies.?Mutual recognition and cooperation between non-EU countries and the EU should be encouraged so that data can flow freely. Additionally, the EU should oppose restrictive and discriminatory policies, such as forced data localization. The GDPR provides a suite of mechanisms companies can use for international data transfers, such as adequacy decisions, Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs), certifications, codes of conduct, and Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs). This second review of the GDPR is a chance for Europe to ensure these data flow mechanisms, which are crucial for international businesses, not only can continue, but also to make them future proof. This is an important prerequisite for increased innovation as digitization is a priority for businesses across sectors. With this in mind, we hope that the EU and the UK will be able to make progress on an adequacy agreement and secure data transfers before the end of 2020.

 

IBM supports the GDPR and implements its own Principles for Trust & Transparency?across our business and across all markets. We are playing a key role in initiatives such as the development of the?EU’s AI Ethics guidelines?and the?Charter of Trust?and have been a driving force in the?EU Cloud Code of Conduct, an independently-governed industry code that contains rigorous assurances for the protection of data in cloud services.

 

While the benefits of GDPR have become very clear over the past two years, Europe’s work around data protection is not finished. Now more than ever, European citizens and companies require increased harmonization within Europe and improved cooperation with non-EU countries to rely on robust data transfer mechanisms and to keep international economies running.

 

— Dr. Nils Hullen, IBM Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive

— Amélie Coulet,?Senior Manager, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Europe?

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IBM Applauds Supreme Court DACA Decision http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/scotus-daca/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 14:23:26 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39164 IBM applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision permitting DACA recipients to continue living and working in the United States. Dreamers reflect the vital role that immigrants have always played in this country. This has never been more evident than during this pandemic, with nearly 27,000 Dreamers healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 […]

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IBM applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision permitting DACA recipients to continue living and working in the United States.

Dreamers reflect the vital role that immigrants have always played in this country. This has never been more evident than during this pandemic, with nearly 27,000 Dreamers healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis response.

IBM’s Dreamers have worked hard and have overcome many obstacles to pursue their education and become talented professionals valued by our company, our clients and our communities.

While today’s verdict gives DACA recipients some temporary relief, we urge Congress in the strongest possible voice to pass a bipartisan legislative solution that will provide the permanent sense of security the Dreamers deserve.

And to our Dreamers, I remind you that IBM stands with you. Our company will continue to do everything in our power to help you, from supporting renewals to providing direct legal and financial assistance.

– Diane Gherson, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, IBM Corporation

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Using Data Responsibly to Tackle a Global Emergency http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/using-data-responsibly-to-tackle-a-global-emergency/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 11:50:51 +0000 http://www.loudelf.com/blogs/policy/?p=39143 IBM is a company committed to the responsible stewardship of data and technology – at all times and in all circumstances, including today’s global pandemic. Our Principles of Trust and Transparency reflect the longstanding values that have guided generations of IBMers in the development and deployment of new technologies and services to deliver innovation that […]

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IBM is a company committed to the responsible stewardship of data and technology – at all times and in all circumstances, including today’s global pandemic. Our Principles of Trust and Transparency reflect the longstanding values that have guided generations of IBMers in the development and deployment of new technologies and services to deliver innovation that matters to the world.

Since the beginning of this emergency, IBM has been working with clients and governments to apply our technology and expertise in ways that can make a meaningful difference. From minimizing disruption through resiliency and adaptation, to accelerating scientific discovery and rapidly delivering trusted information into the hands of citizens, we are laser-focused on modeling the promise of good tech when society needs it most.

After all, our principles are only as good as our willingness to put them into practice.

Infusing Ethical Thinking to Drive Accountability

Long before COVID-19, we knew that leading with our values would be critical for distinguishing IBM as a global leader in trusted good tech business practices. We also recognized that operationalizing those values would require a formal, internal process to vet projects and business opportunities based on well-defined guidance around ethical, privacy, and security considerations. As that guidance becomes increasingly dependent on unique ethical considerations posed by technologies like AI, we established our internal AI Ethics Board and a business-wide network of “focals,” trusted IBM AI experts, to provide a centralized mechanism for reviewing opportunities that pose more difficult questions. The Board is comprised of a cross-disciplinary team of IBMers, co-chaired by me, and reports to a committee of IBM senior leaders.

The AI Ethics Board infuses our principles and ethical thinking into our business decision-making. It provides centralized governance and accountability while still being flexible enough to support decentralized initiatives across IBM’s massive global reach. It provides two-way engagement, promotes best practices, conducts internal education, and leads our participation with stakeholder groups worldwide. It is one mechanism by which IBM holds our company and all IBMers accountable to our values.

Applying Value-Based Guardrails to Promote Trust in Today’s COVID-19 Response Technologies

Importantly, the board does not prejudge every possible situation or business opportunity. Instead, it provides a framework to rapidly evaluate each use case and make decisions guided by our principles and a careful consideration of how our technology will be used and by whom. As the Board has looked at technologies to address the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months that we hadn’t considered previously – such as temperature checking, contact tracing, and technologies to assist in social distancing – I am comforted to have reaffirmed that our long-standing Trust and Transparency principles have indeed provided effective guardrails as today, maybe more than ever, we need to promote trust in technology. Without trust, the public will never embrace technologies that can help address this pandemic.

I highlight below six key guardrails, found within our Trust & Transparency Principles, that have been particularly helpful for our board, and the business, to ensure we are responsible stewards of our COVID-19 technologies and engagements worldwide.

Trust & Transparency Principles

Key Guardrails for COVID-19 Technologies

Technology Must be Transparent and Explainable
  • Requiring data transparency around what is collected, how it will be used and stored, and who has access to it.
Data and Insights Belong to their Owner
  • Tightly restricting the specific purpose for which data can and cannot be used to prevent it from being repurposed.
  • Collecting only the minimum amount of data necessary and deleting data when no longer needed.
  • Designing and deploying solutions with privacy and security built-in.
Purpose of Technology is to Augment Human Intelligence
  • Requiring humans-in-the-loop for any decision-making process that would have legal impacts on an individual.
  • Ensuring all applications of IBM technology are lawful, fair, inclusive, and non-discriminatory.

 

Maintaining Adaptability to Promote Public Health while Protecting Privacy

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the questions around how to best promote public health while protecting privacy will need to be continuously re-assessed, just as the science of the disease spread and its control is increasing and evolving.

IBM believes strongly in the value of opt-in measures to protect privacy and ensure trust. We believe governments and enterprises should strive to prioritize the voluntary nature of any collection and use of personal data in public health efforts. Where mandatory contact tracing systems are proposed, any IBM involvement in those projects would be carefully evaluated by the AI Ethics Board, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure consistency with our overarching principles and values. For example, requiring the use of a contact tracing app in the workplace before permitting employees to return could help provide returning employees with a healthy and safe workplace while preserving privacy, provided it’s designed and deployed with the right guardrails in place. Adaptability is key to working our way through this unprecedented emergency, and the flexibility afforded by the Board’s governance mechanism will allow IBM to continue responding in a timely and effective manner to changes on the ground.

Looking ahead to other possible technology applications that may be required to beat back this virus, preserving society’s trust in technology is critical. The world can count on IBM, guided by our AI Ethics Board, to continue bringing the best of our technology and expertise into the fight. And we will do so while adhering firmly to our long-standing principles and belief in the importance of good tech that have earned us the trust of society and our clients for more than a century.

 

Christina Montgomery, Chief Privacy Officer, IBM Corporation

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