Civil Rights, Privacy, and Technology Recommended 2021 Oversight Priorities for the 117th Congress
In recent years, Congress has used its oversight powers to highlight the discriminatory impacts of technology, enforce relevant civil rights protections, reduce disparate impacts, and build a strong evidence base to guide reform and accountability efforts. Moving forward, however, far more significant, sustained, and effective oversight action is necessary, especially as Congress moves to update existing protections and establish modern rules for these technologies. While these legislative reforms are underway, Congress should ensure oversight activities use existing authorities to protect civil rights and promote justice. This work is essential to protecting our democracy. And as the nation continues to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, addressing these questions is vital in promoting a just, inclusive economic recovery.
The 117th Congress must take action to ensure that technology serves all people in the United States, rather than facilitating discrimination or reinforcing existing inequities. We, the undersigned 15 public interest organizations, have developed this potential oversight agenda to help guide Congress in achieving that mission.
While the priorities laid out here do not reflect the full agenda of all undersigned organizations, and they should be read to complement legislative work to address these challenges, they represent high priority areas of concern for many organizations recommending this agenda. We believe that these goals can and should be accomplished in 2021, and we are excited to collaborate with you on these efforts on behalf of the communities and principles we represent.
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