U.S. Chamber Report Highlights Overlooked Societal Benefits of Data

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 1:30pm

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC), in partnership with PERC Solutions, released a new report today that revealed unexpected and often overlooked ways data enhances public and personal safety, expands financial inclusion, boosts economic development, improves health outcomes, and fosters innovation.

“From detecting fraud to combatting human trafficking to expanding access to credit, data isn’t just about the Internet and apps, it’s central to solving some of society’s greatest challenges,” said Tim Day, Senior Vice President of C_TEC. “It’s important that policymakers recognize all the benefits of data use and data sharing when deliberating issues such as data privacy and security to ensure that we preserve life-saving and life-improving innovations.”

The report, Data for Good: Promoting Safety, Health, and Inclusion, outlines five main areas where data-driven technology is leading to more efficient outcomes and is being used as a means for societal improvement. 

  1. Fraud Prevention and Security: New data-driven tools are being developed to detect and prevent online fraud as well as to authenticate online transactions. These new tools allow consumers and companies to keep one step ahead of would-be fraudsters. Such new tools have likely contributed to the steady decline in the total cost of ID theft and fraud since 2005. Additionally, data tools developed to improve the speed and efficiency of law enforcement have increased public safety.
  2. Financial Inclusion: Data-driven solutions such as credit scoring and automated underwriting have improved lending, reduced origination costs, and increased financial inclusion. Expanded use of data also increases access to credit for small businesses.
  3. Economic Development: Digital platforms enable small businesses to have an online presence and connect with their customers, while payment processing companies allow small businesses to make a sale and make a profit. The multiplier effect for the information technology industry is estimated to be 5.73, meaning for every 100 jobs in the tech sector, 573 jobs are created in other sectors.
  4. Public Health: Doctors are increasingly turning to data to improve the quality of care they deliver and improve their ability to practice medicine the way they want. In the future, access to tools that use “societal determinants of health” could enable physicians to better identify patient risk factors and gain a more holistic view of the patient.
  5. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence provides new ways to combat human trafficking, fight wildfires, and connect people to mental health services. Furthermore, it is dependent on the open channels of data to improve the lives of disabled citizens and help underserved communities obtain access to credit.

This report serves as the third installment in C_TEC’s “U.S. Data Ecosystems” series that advocates for congressional action in creating federal legislation around privacy. The first two reports of the series surround data’s crucial role in our economy as well as private and public sector statistics on data use and its benefits. Read the full “U.S. Data Ecosystems” series at www.AmericanInnovators.com.