This is What the White House Thinks About Privacy Enhancing Technologies

Oct 5, 2022 | Privacy & Security

In what we see as a huge vote of confidence for the development of technologies and services that better protect data privacy, the White House has listed “privacy enhancing technologies” as one of the “industries of the future” in its April 2022 “OSTP Report on the Industries of the Future Act”. 

The report from the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and submitted to Congress defines IoTF as advanced industrial sectors that: 

  • Support innovative, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable growth
  • Have profound connection with technology R&D and STEM3 workforce
  • Require R&D investments to support growth that will lead to transformative impact
  • Will significantly benefit future economic prosperity and national security.

According to the OSTP, the IoTF possess certain characteristics: 

“… IoTF are not static. They change over time and reflect the potential of the future. They are topics that still have a firm footing in basic research and development (R&D), yet show the potential to create economic value in the years ahead. They are often marked by a revolution in a technology as opposed to a natural evolution. This drastic change means they are accompanied by periods of uncertainty, with the most transformative applications still to be discovered. It is this hope for something new, something not yet realized, that drives excitement in the research, innovation, and policymaking communities. Sustained investments are required until economic drivers are established; this often necessitate public seeding of funds as risk may outweigh near-term gains as a specific industrial sector emerges.”

Privacy enhancing technologies sits on the list of IoTF in the White House report alongside:

  • Advanced computing 
  • Advanced materials, manufacturing, and robotics 
  • Advanced, next-generation communications technologies 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Battery technology 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Green products/clean technology
  • Plant genetics/agricultural technologies
  • Quantum information science/quantum computing 
  • Nanotechnology 
  • Semiconductors/microelectronics technologies.

The goal of the OSTP report is to identify “federal research and development investments, infrastructure, and workforce development investments that enable continued United States leadership in industries of the future (IoTF).”

In a further vote of confidence for privacy, the report notes the “Biden-Harris Administration has put forward proposals to dramatically increase Federal investments toward realizing Industries of the Future for the benefit of the American people, especially American workers.” Investments to support IoTF are currently at more than $10 billion annually.

We’ve always known privacy would be a defining feature of this decade and beyond. You might like:

Where Will Privacy Be in 10 Years?

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