The House of Representatives voted on May 11 to approve H.R. 847 – the Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act, by a margin of 401-19.

The legislation introduced last year by Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., would “direct the National Science Foundation to support merit-reviewed and competitively awarded research on privacy enhancing technologies.”

Research areas required by the legislation include:

  • Research on technologies for de-identification, pseudonymization, anonymization, or obfuscation to mitigate individuals’ privacy risks in data sets while maintaining fairness, accuracy, and efficiency;
  • Research on algorithms and other similar mathematical tools used to protect individual privacy; and
  • Research awards on privacy enhancing technologies coordinated with other relevant Federal agencies and programs.

The measure also calls for the creation of “policy recommendations that could facilitate and improve communication and coordination between the private sector and relevant Federal agencies.”

The House bill has companion legislation in the Senate – S.224 – introduced last year by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, N-Nev., which has not yet made it out of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.


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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.