Mark MacCarthy

Opinions expressed by ICN authors are their own.

Mark MacCarthy is senior vice president for public policy at the Software & Information Industry Association, the principal association for the software and digital content industries, and a leading authority on U.S. tech policy. On behalf of SIIA’s 800 member companies, MacCarthy directs a broad range of public policy initiatives, including in the areas of intellectual property, information privacy, economic growth, cybersecurity, cloud computing, international trade and the promotion of educational technology. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in information privacy and tech policy in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program.

MacCarthy regularly speaks and writes on topics of software and data. He has served as a consultant on technology policy issues for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and for the Aspen Institute. MacCarthy holds a Ph.D in philosophy from Indiana University and an MA in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Mark MacCarthy and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

Policy challenges of artificial intelligence

Unnecessary and counterproductive regulations don’t make good competition policy

Unnecessary and counterproductive regulations don’t make good competition policy

With increased criticism of tech companies’ size and power, it is important to note that unnecessary regulations would be counterproductive, causing more harm than good.

Big data is not a barrier to entry

Big data is not a barrier to entry

Just as big data is not the “new oil” or “information infrastructure,” neither is it a barrier to entry. Companies have vast quantities of new and free data available to them.

Data is not the new oil or the infrastructure of the digital economy

Data is not the new oil or the infrastructure of the digital economy

Some are claiming that data is the “new oil.” Some claim that data is infrastructure. Both of these assertions are false.

Lessons from Visa and MasterCard: governments need to work with tech companies to respond to harmful content

Lessons from Visa and MasterCard: governments need to work with tech companies to respond to harmful content

Imposing fines, mandating blocking and threatening legislation against tech companies is the wrong approach for governments to take when responding to harmful content. Governments need to offer a partnership with tech companies to...

Facebook takes on non-consensual intimate images

Facebook takes on non-consensual intimate images

Non-consensual intimate images are a serious problem that tech companies are trying to prevent. Facebook’s pilot reporting program in Australia is a thoughtful first step to address this major social issue.

EU privacy law says companies need to explain the algorithms they use

EU privacy law says companies need to explain the algorithms they use

Explainable AI is needed to fully comply with the new EU data protection law. But companies don't need to sacrifice the benefits of machine learning accuracy to do it.

Ethical principles for algorithms

Ethical principles for algorithms

As big data analytics continues to transform the economic and social landscape, is it time to ask questions about the ethical nature of the algorithms employed by various organizations? Is it the responsibility of organizations to...

AI policy should be based on science, not science fiction

AI policy should be based on science, not science fiction

Speculative fear shouldn’t lead us into creating an omnibus regulatory structure to oversee all AI research. A fear-driven policy approach could significantly slow the development of AI systems that will make our homes and roads...

Alexa, bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States

Alexa, bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States

U.S. companies have been bringing manufacturing home, and with this has come almost a quarter of a million jobs since 2010. And more are on their way — Deloitte reports that about half of U.S. manufacturing executives plan to bring...

Don't fear machines, collaborate with them

Don't fear machines, collaborate with them

Occupations accounting for 47% of all U.S. employment are at risk of computerization, and this isn’t decades away: It could happen over the next 10 to 20 years

Tech leaders must act quickly to ensure algorithmic fairness

Tech leaders must act quickly to ensure algorithmic fairness

Do big data algorithms treat people differently based on characteristics such as race, religion, and gender? Tech leaders must take seriously the debate over data usage -- both because discrimination in any form has to be addressed,...

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