February 2020 NIST Constituent Newsletter

NIST Congressional and Legislative Affairs

Monthly Constituent Newsletter - February 2020


Privacy Framework Released

On January 16, 2020 NIST released Version 1.0 of the NIST Privacy Framework: A Tool for Improving Privacy through Enterprise Risk Management.  The framework provides a useful set of privacy protection strategies for organizations that wish to improve their approach to using and protecting personal data. 


NIST to Revamp iEdison Tool for Reporting Federally Funded Inventions

As part of its efforts to improve the transfer of federally funded technologies from lab to market, NIST is seeking public feedback on the Interagency Edison System — an online platform where organizations that have received federal funding report their inventions. NIST plans to modernize and streamline the system to improve user experience, enhance functionality and increase security to ensure sensitive business information is protected.


Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) 2019 Impact Data

NIST MEP has released Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 impacts for the MEP National Network™. In FY 2019, the MEP National Network served 8,900 unique clients and interacted with 28,213 manufacturers. For every dollar of federal investment in FY 2019, the MEP National Network generated $33.80 in new sales growth and $32.20 in new client investment. This translates into $4.7 billion in new sales. During this same time, for every $1,221 of federal investment, the Network created or retained one manufacturing job. Since 1988, MEP has worked with 111,343 manufacturers, leading to $132 billion in new sales and $22 billion in cost savings, and it has helped create and retain more than 1,221,996 jobs.

Face Recognition

Face Recognition Algorithm Report

A new NIST study into face recognition algorithms found that there is a wide range of accuracy across demographics, such as: age, sex, and either race or country of birth. The report provides an overview of NIST's Face Recognition Vendor Test for developers, integrators, end users, policy makers, and others who have familiarity with biometrics applications and performance metrics. It also outlines how NIST conducted tests and analyzed the outcomes of demographic differentials across nearly 200 face recognition algorithms from nearly 100 developers, using four collections of photographs with more than 18 million images of more than 8 million people.




Cybersecurity Workforce Hearing

On February 11th at 10:00am, Rodney Petersen, Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at NIST will testify before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Research & Technology Subcommittee about the U.S. cybersecurity workforce.  There will be a live video stream of the hearing.

Additional witnesses:

  • Dr. Ambareen Siraj, Professor, Computer Science; Director, Cybersecurity Education Research and Outreach Center, Tennessee Tech University
  • Mr. Joseph Sawasky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Merit Network, Inc.
  • Ms. Sonya Miller, HR Director, IBM Security and Enterprise & Technology Security

Facial Recognition and Other Biometric Technologies Hearing

On February 6th, Dr. Charles Romine, Director of the Information Technology Laboratory at NIST testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security.  The hearing focused on examining the Department of Homeland Security's use of facial recognition technology. View a copy of his testimony or the live webcast.

Additional witnesses:

  • Mr. John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. Peter Mina, Deputy Officer for Programs and Compliance, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Industries of the Future Hearing

On January 15th, Dr. Walter Copan, Under Secretary for Standards and Technology and NIST Director testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the "Industries of the Future".  The hearing focused on how the United States could maintain its global economic edge in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, biotechnology, and developing the next generation of wireless networks and infrastructure. View a copy of his testimony or the live webcast.

Additional witnesses:

  • The Honorable France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation
  • The Honorable Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Office of Science and Technology Policy 
  • The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission 

Facial Recognition Technology Hearing

On January 15th, Dr. Charles Romine, Director of the Information Technology Laboratory at NIST testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the use of facial recognition technology.  The hearing focused on the use of facial recognition technology by private sector entities and the need for oversight of commercial use of this technology upon individuals.  View a copy of his testimony or the live webcast

Additional witnesses:

  • Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of AI and Ethics, Future of Privacy Forum
  • Meredith Whittaker, Co-Founder and Co-Director, AI Now Institute, New York University
  • Daniel Castro, Vice President and Director of Center for Data Innovation, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Jake Parker, Senior Director of Government Relations, Security Industry Association (SIA)