Congressman John Curtis of Utah’s third congressional district met with a group of technologists and leaders last month to discuss the state of data privacy. Curtis sits on the prominent House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

The meeting was co-hosted by TechBuzz News, the Salt Lake Chamber, and their joint collaboration, the Wasatch Innovation Network, a 501(c) 6 nonprofit to promote Utah as a leader in innovation, technology, and business.

“With the rise of technology in all aspects of society, the security and privacy of data are on the top of many Americans' minds,” said Congressman Curtis. “I believe we have an opportunity to work in a bipartisan fashion to update our laws to reflect modern realities of how integrated we are with new innovations. In my position on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will work to ensure our state and our economy remain competitive and innovative.

From left to right: Jeff Weber, Instructure; Kyle Stromberg; Steven Briggs, Alianza; Joseph Lattuga, Alianza; Cooper Wimmer (back), Strider; Ryan Lifferth, Metasource; Adrielle Herring, Congressman Curtis' Office; Paul Ahlstrom Isotalent & TechBuzz News; Lorie Fowlke, Congressman Curtis' Office, Congressman John Curtis, Elisabeth Nebeker, Wasatch Innovation Network; Robb Lifferth, IsoTalent & TechBuzz News; Derek Miller, Salt Lake Chamber; Juan Pablo Capdevila, Healthtree; Sherrie Cowley, 3M — Seen on the screen joining the meeting remotely: Michael Feiertag (top left), AllegisCyber Capital; Davis Bell (lower left), Canopy; Daisy Bennett (lower right), Instructure

The goal of the roundtable was to connect the Wasatch Innovation Network Technology Advisory Committee (WINTAC), made up of industry subject matter experts, with Congressman Curtis to advise and advocate policy solutions. Utah led out with data privacy legislation in last year’s legislative session and the growing innovation and entrepreneurial talent in the state expects to shape the national conversation.   

“The ability of the free market to innovate and create complex business solutions often outpaces government’s ability to craft legislation that adequately protects data and privacy rights,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “One of the goals in creating the Wasatch Innovation Network is to put a greater focus on the policy solutions that can match technology growth and keep our intellectual property and advantage secure. Innovation policy that matches the speed of technological advancement must be our goal. Congressman Curtis’s leadership on these important issues is a win for Utah and the country.” 

"Data is the foundation of the US knowledge economy and powers the growth of the US tech industry as well as millions of small and medium businesses,” said Paul Ahlstrom, chairman of TechBuzz News and co-sponsor of the Wasatch Innovation Network. “Creating a national data policy that strikes the right balance between the growth needs of business and each citizen's privacy needs is key to sustaining the growth of our economy. We are grateful for Congressman Curtis' leadership in this area. He is not only listening to his constituents and key stakeholders but driving these important conversations to get to the right answers that will drive sustainable innovation in the US.”

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