Tech Policy Roundup

Voices for Innovation logo

For the Partner Insider Community

May 2023

VFI is a Microsoft-supported advocacy community that empowers Microsoft partners to engage in discussions about the most important tech policy issues of the day. VFI champions public policies that foster innovation, support business growth, and enable technology to address societal challenges.

We encourage Microsoft Partners to join our free program and get involved.


Here are three key issues on VFI’s radar:

Congress Examines AI

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation recently held a hearing titled, “Advances in AI: Are We Ready for a Tech Revolution?” On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its own AI hearing, “Artificial Intelligence: Risks and Opportunities.”

AI has captured public and media attention in recent months—and justifiably the attention of lawmakers. A general theme of these congressional hearings was that guardrails are needed for this powerful area of technology. The Washington Post editorialized (registration required) that Congress should also provide new AI models with temporary liability protections: “[AI] products can’t hope to offer a vast variety of answers on a vast variety of subjects, in a vast variety of applications—which is what we should want them to do—without legal protections.”

Evolving Intellectual Property (IP) Rules for the Greater Good

A new discussion is emerging in Washington, DC, and elsewhere about intellectual property (IP) in the age of AI. Microsoft General Counsel Hossein Nowbar contributed to this discussion with a recent blog laying out five key principles for policymakers and the intellectual property community to consider as IP rules evolve for this new era of technology. He writes, “[W]e need an IP system that promotes pragmatic and practical mechanisms with a focus on how the system can enable innovation, not impede it.” Technology has great potential to help address critical environmental, health, economic, and other societal challenges, and our IP system “can play a critical role in removing friction to innovation.”

White House Advances Privacy-Preserving Data and Analytics

While Congress continues to hold ongoing discussions about data privacy, lawmakers still have not found common ground to pass legislation on this issue. However, the Administration is moving forward with initiatives to protect data privacy. Case in point, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently released the multi-agency “National Strategy to Advance Privacy-Preserving Data Sharing and Analytics.”

This Strategy aims to advance the use of data-protecting methods and technologies in the federal government and elsewhere. Crucially, the Strategy underscores the importance of using data to tackle major social challenges, which makes it all the more important to develop privacy protections that facilitate beneficial uses of data. In addition to reading the Strategy, you can find a detailed summary from Nextgov here.


Thank you for reading. We’ll be back again next month with more tech policy highlights. To participate in VFI’s activities, please sign up today.