The U.S. Public Policy Council of ACM (USACM) is chartered as the focal point for ACM's interaction with U.S. government organizations, the computing community, and the U.S. public in all matters of U.S. public policy related to information technology.
Each member of USACM is part of at least one of its six committees: Privacy and Security, Intellectual Property, Law, Accessibility, Digital Government, and Voting. You can find out more about the members of USACM on the Members page.
USACM’s contribution to public policy is drawn from the deep technical expertise of the computing community. As a scientific society, ACM and, by extension, USACM are obligated to apply this knowledge to bring relevant scientific research, best practices and foresight of technology advances to public policy issues.
USACM represents a diverse community of practitioners, researchers, managers and other interested parties from academia, government, industry, non-profit organizations, the self-employed, and the retired. Its members span a broad range of ages, social, political, and ethnic backgrounds. As such, members must continually seek consensus positions firmly grounded in scientific or technology knowledge rather than representing specific values that individual members may hold.
The following principles underpin USACM's work, guide its actions, and help ensure a balance among diverse views in public policy affecting science and technology. USACM seeks to:
- Incorporate and adhere to all of the elements of the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
- Educate the public, policy makers, and the community about public policy issues that affect the development of technology or where technology influences policy issues to better inform policy decisions.
- Be a non-partisan, honest broker of scientific and technical expertise, free from the influence of product vendors or others with vested interests (e.g. issue advocacy groups, political parties, etc.) making recommendations (not mandates) -- underpinned by scientific evidence -- for improving the field of computing or the responsible use of technology in society.
- Issue recommendations informed by technical expertise rather than economic, social, or other values (such as national security) in cases where policy tradeoffs may be necessary.
- Issue recommendations articulating desired outcomes or performance standards rather than mandating specific technologies or vendor approaches.
- Issue recommendations that embrace the fundamental qualities of good design that incorporate privacy, security, reliability, accessibility and usability criteria.
- Focus expertise, authority, and resources on the technical and professional aspects of public policy debates, and inform policy makers when applying technology solutions may be inappropriate or where gaps exist in between ideals that may not be perfectly realized from a technological perspective.
- Take into account the complete context of policy development, including individuals, organizations, purposes, systems, and networks to minimize unintended consequences.
USACM is supported by the ACM Public Policy Office in Washington, DC.