The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has grown tremendously, and contemporary research and use reports its increasingly impressive technical capabilities. Related to this, the role of government as a data collector and provider has emerged as a leader in this data-centric world. In related matters, recent data assessments have brought to light ethical concerns regarding information that is collected, used, stored, and distributed by the government. Studies, and even news stories, have uncovered possible limitations and thought gaps in its management.

Though government is regularly reviewing and reinforcing protocols that protect it citizens, it needs to be vigilant and accountable in its policies and standards for data ethics and for the appropriate use and management of emerging technologies. This starts with acquiring the right products and personnel with foresight of the “right thing to do”, and considerations of transparency, fairness, and accountability in analytical processes, data, and computing power.

We need a better expertise in the foundational understanding of privacy and data protection laws and practices, with specializations in jurisdictional laws, regulations and enforcement models, rules and standards, and the concepts, principals, and legal requirements for handling and transferring data. This includes advocating the need for the use of data ethics as a foundational topic in the areas of data storage environments, information collections for machine learning, and the current and future applications of autonomous intelligent systems.
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    John "Major" Nelson
    Senior Privacy Analyst
    For more than a decade, John “Major” Nelson has been working in compliance and policy for the Federal government. As a Senior Privacy Analyst with experience from several Federal agencies, his job at CISA has been to make contributions to the maturity of the privacy offices in topics related to cybersecurity, network defense, information sharing, data analysis, intelligence collections, and red teaming. With the increasing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the related technology developing faster than our needs and legislation, his examinations into the lack of policy has led to a need to encourage governments to explore more predictive maintenance processes, increased security capabilities, and especially ethics principles and procedures for this fast-emerging field. From his privacy office perspective, he has studied, written papers and guidance on proper use of data to improve decisions, and has advised on implications of AI, Internet of Things, and other digital technologies. As a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, specializing in U.S. Government policy (CIPP/US), and graduate of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Executive Branch Artificial Intelligence Lab program, John is leveraging his experience to enable Federal standards, policy, and practices to address the growing concern and interest in what has been called the ethical evolution of AI, including questions about bias, fairness, and algorithm transparency.