State Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joined a panel titled “Data Security: Who’s Responsible?” with Claire Gartland, Privacy and Public Policy Manager of Facebook and Tom Galvin of the Digital Citizens Alliance on September 12th at mHUB in the West Town neighborhood in Chicago. CompTIA‘s Alexi Madon, who has testified at the State Capitol in Springfield on behalf of the tech industry regarding data policy, hosted the event and moderated the panel.
Panelists discussed who handles data and their role in keeping that data secure from the user to the provider to government regulators. Wheeler’s comments, which reflected his roles both as an IT specialist and as an Illinois State Representative, focused on finding a data policy balance that protects consumers without hampering innovation.
From his legislator perspective, Wheeler noted that “Regulations should always be technology neutral – meaning they should not target any one specific technology since government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers. In conjunction with that, security legislation should focus on consumer protection.”
He added “Government doesn’t always move fast enough to make the intended difference – especially when it comes to technology. Informed consumers putting pressure on companies who collect data to accommodate necessary protections are the most effective advocates to drive change.” As an IT services provider for the small business community, Wheeler explained the process he follows before pursuing new technology initiatives for his clients. “First, we need to evaluate if the service will provide a genuine benefit to our clients. If it does, then we work through the value proposition and the profit potential for our company. Those are the positive elements. We still have to sort through the impact that service might expand or reduce liability or compliance problems for either my company or my client. Data policy and government regulations can have direct influence on those costs which is why business owners need to be engaged in these discussions.”
CompTIA is a non-profit trade association that issues professional certifications for the information technology (IT) industry. It is considered one of the IT industry’s top trade associations. Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, CompTIA issues vendor-neutral professional certifications.
The organization releases over 50 industry studies annually to track industry trends and changes. Over 2.2 million people have earned CompTIA certifications since the association was established. mHUB is Chicago’s innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. mHUB galvanizes Chicago’s manufacturing ecosystem and vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs, bringing innovative ideas to life, attracting world-class talent, and driving greater productivity and profit. mHUB is located at 965 W. Chicago Avenue in Chicago.