TruCon 2024A Values Based Tech Policy?
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A Values-Based Tech Policy?

The “A Values-Based Tech Policy?” panel at TruCon 2024 explored the profound implications of leading with ethical principles in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. The panel addressed questions at the intersection of technology, democracy, and societal values, particularly as tech companies increasingly shape the way we live, work, and engage with the world.

Panel Takeaways
  1. Ethical Considerations in Technology Development: Technology influences nearly every aspect of daily life. From accessing essential services to participating in democratic processes, the ubiquity of connective technologies underscores the importance of understanding and prioritizing ethical considerations. Panelists agreed that it is ultimately the actions of people and institutions that determine the impact of technology. Camille Stewart Gloster, former Deputy National Cyber Director for The White House, stated: “We as national security practitioners…need to understand the context in which technology operates [and] how it is weaponized or leveraged for good.”
  2. Responsible Innovation: The panel examined the implications of a values-based approach to technology, addressing the need for tech companies to balance innovation and development with responsibility, particularly concerning user privacy. With tech companies racing to bring products to market, there was a shared hope among panelists that tech companies will increasingly scrutinize potentially harmful or untested technologies.
  3. Geopolitical Implications of Tech Policy: Central to the discussion was the recognition that tech policy is often shaped by geopolitical competition, particularly between the US and China, sometimes at the expense of robust regulatory and privacy standards. Panelists stressed the urgency for the US government to develop and legislate a cohesive privacy strategy that prioritizes innovation while safeguarding user rights. Sidney Olynik, Founder & CEO of Duco, addressed the involvement of tech companies in shaping US politics when many elected officials engage in disinformation, and added that companies will have an increasingly important role in shaping American foreign policy.
  4. Challenges of Online Disinformation: While many US companies are actively combatting disinformation, panelists highlighted the relentless tactics of bad actors, underscoring the need for more comprehensive tech policy measures.

The panel emphasized the importance of proactive government intervention in shaping a tech ecosystem that balances innovation with ethical responsibility. As technology evolves, fostering dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders from government, industry, and civil society will be essential in ensuring that technological advancements align with societal values and contribute to the betterment of humanity.

Written by Eden Zaborowski and Chris Aboukhaled

Our Panelists

Camille Stewart Gloster

Camille Stewart Gloster

Fmr. Deputy National Cyber Director, The White House
Speaker Bio
Camille Stewart Gloster is a strategist, attorney, and executive whose crosscutting perspective on complex technology, cyber, and national security, and foreign policy issues has landed her in significant roles at leading government and private sector companies including the White House, Department of Homeland Security, Google, and Deloitte. Camille builds global cybersecurity, privacy, and technology safety programs in complex environments for large companies and government agencies.
Sidney Olinyk

Sidney Olinyk

Founder & CEO, Duco
Speaker Bio
Sidney is the Founder & CEO of Duco, which empowers leading companies to operate safely, securely, and responsibly by mobilizing the world’s leading experts. An entrepreneur and former Obama Administration political appointee, Sidney’s career spans technology, trust and safety, national security, and policy–from the Pentagon to civil society to the startup world in Silicon Valley. She has executive experience driving growth, scaling international teams, and advising executives at multiple organizations in both the private and public sectors.
Cat Zakrzewsk

Cat Zakrzewski

(Moderator) - The Washington Post
Speaker Bio
Cat Zakrzewski is a national technology policy reporter, tracking global efforts to regulate the tech industry. She focuses on AI policy, as well as the legal and legislative battles over free speech online. Zakrzewski has chronicled Washington's clashes with the tech industry, reporting on social media, privacy and antitrust issues. She previously served as the first anchor of The Technology 202 newsletter, The Washington Post’s daily guide to the relationship between the tech industry and regulators. In that role, she covered the central role tech issues played in the pandemic, elections and the national reckoning on race. She joined The Post in 2018, after working as a reporter for Wall Street Journal Pro Venture Capital. Her work has also been published in TechCrunch, the Boston Globe, USA Today and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Rose Jackson

Rose Jackson

Democracy + Tech Initiative Director, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
Speaker Bio
Rose Jackson is an entrepreneur and diplomat with nearly two decades of experience strengthening democracy and defending human rights, leveraging technology for social impact, and building institutions to support democratic activists around the world. She is currently the director of the Democracy + Tech Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

Jackson served as a foreign policy advisor in the U.S. Senate, chief of staff to the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and a senior advisor at the Open Society Foundations on U.S. security sector assistance. Before founding and serving as CEO of the social impact tech company, Beacon, Jackson led humanitarian and political development programs in revolutionary Libya and East Africa with the International Organization for Migration and the National Democratic Institute.

She has served in numerous roles on U.S. political campaigns, and advised domestic and international organizations on movement organizing, responsible technology, and democratic institution-building.