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RegBlog

RegBlog | October 19, 2016

The Encryption Wars

…despite the seemingly disparate initiatives in both houses of Congress, industry advocates want to be able to rely on the federal government to determine a regulatory solution for encryption battles. Morgan Reed of ACT | The App Association has spoken against state regulation of encryption and has instead endorsed broader federal legislation. “Any attempts by states to regulate independently,” he said, “would be unmanageable and interfere with interstate commerce.”

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Politico

Politico | October 17, 2016

Does DOJ filing speak to need for ICPA?

ACT | The App Association also noted that the DOJ filing reaffirmed the legislative gap that currently exists.

“The Justice Department’s petition for a rehearing of the Second Circuit’s earlier unanimous decision only reinforces the need for Congress to act by passing the International Communications Privacy Act and clarifying law enforcement’s ability to access data stored abroad,” writes Morgan Reed, the [App Association]’s executive director. “Rather than continuing to litigate, the Justice Department should work with Congress to modernize our laws for the digital world.”

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mHealth Intelligence

mHealth Intelligence | October 12, 2016

mHealth Group Wants to Define Store-And-Forward Telehealth

mHealth proponents have drafted a definition for “asynchronous” telehealth, and they’re hoping federal officials will use it when dealing with MACRA issues and CPT codes.

The Connected Health Initiative (CHI), a group organized by ACT | The App Association, has released a definition and four uses cases for asynchronous – also called store-and-forward – telehealth, noting that existing definitions “are inconsistent and have unfortunately led to confusion and in some cases has limited the ability of American patients to leverage the most effective technological solutions available in their treatments.”

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ABC News

ABC News | September 23, 2016

What Consumers Need to Know About the Yahoo Security Breach

Hackers may attempt to log directly into a Yahoo account, but they could also use the information to try to get into someone’s other accounts, according security experts.

“If your primary email address is compromised, so much of the rest of your digital life flows from that,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], which represents app and tech companies.

When it comes to stolen passwords, the “good news” is that the passwords were encrypted, said Reed. The bad news is that the one entity that has the resources to break encryption is a state actor, he added.

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Software Development Times

SDTimes | August 30, 2016

Software developers still in demand

According to recent findings from the App Association, nearly a quarter-million job openings for software developers remain unfilled in the United States. Additionally, there are more software developer jobs than qualified people to fill them, which poses problems for startups and big companies looking to hire the right talent.

Currently, there are 223,054 jobs open in the U.S. In an interactive map, the App Association displayed every community in the country where companies are looking to hire developers. For example, in Chicago, 3,732 unfilled jobs exist, where San Francisco has 6,095 jobs unfilled.

The App Association also found that the demand for software developers has made it one of the highly paid jobs across America.

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Bloomberg BNA

Bloomberg BNA | August 15, 2016

TPP Debate Includes Split on Data Provisions

“Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association in Washington said the greatest concern would be who picks up the lead in setting standards for digital trade. The fear is that it might put a country like China “in the driver seat for defining what’s appropriate in the digital economy,” he said.

“It behooves the U.S. to write the rules on how digital trade moves forward,” Reed said.”

Reed said localization laws would make it difficult for businesses to operate internationally and therefore prevent global consumers from purchasing products that could benefit their own business.

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Fortune

Fortune | August 2, 2016

Most Developer Jobs Aren’t in Silicon Valley

If you think you need to move to Silicon Valley to be a software developer, think again. In a study called, “Six-Figure Tech Salaries: Creating the Next Developer Workforce,” tech trade group The App Association looked at the best American communities for software developers, plotting data on maps of the United States to illustrate how all areas of the country both currently employ and seek tech talent.

The most surprising takeaway? The vast majority of software developers work outside Silicon Valley—89% of them, to be precise. Beyond Silicon Valley and New York, leading metropolitan employers included Washington, D.C. (52,200 developers employed), Chicago (28,380), Atlanta (32,090) and Boston (37,460).

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Bloomberg BNA

Bloomberg BNA | July 29, 2016

Fitness Trackers, Wellness Apps Won’t Be Regulated by FDA

This distinction is important for app developers, who want to be able to market their products as helpful to people with certain medical conditions but want to steer clear of FDA regulations, which can be time-consuming and expensive, Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], told Bloomberg BNA. Products regulated by the FDA must register with the agency, undergo review before they’re sold, and meet certain requirement.

“There have been questions about what app makers can say and it left them worried,” Reed said.

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Silicon Beat

Silicon Beat | July 25, 2016

Apple’s First Reality TV Show Additions are Open

As for the inaugural season’s location, it appears Silicon Valley is not the hub of the app-development universe, so perhaps the show can attract viewers without the Valley’s cachet: a new report from The App Association said 89 percent of software developers work outside of Silicon Valley. Nevertheless, the group found that more than 100,000 developers work in the region from San Francisco to San Jose, compared to fewer than 30,000 in L.A.

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edScoop

EdScoop | July 18, 2016

Educators Brace Themselves for Back-to-School as Pokemon Captures Kids’ Attention – Again

“This is so significant in an education context, because Pokemon Go is really showing us the potential of augmented and virtual reality apps and devices,” said Jonathan Godfrey, vice president for public affairs at ACT The App Association, a group that represents apps and information technology firms.

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Fortune

Fortune | July 18, 2016

How Do You Regulate the Digital Health Revolution?

Last year, the agency [FDA] released its recommendations for mobile app developers, which breaks digital health apps into three buckets. In the first: Apps that are clearly not medical devices and are therefore outside of the agency’s jurisdiction. In the third: Apps that function as or control medical devices, such as a blood pressure monitor, and could pose a risk to patients’ safety if they don’t work as intended. As a broad rule, “if a physician is using it or recommending its use as part of your medical treatment, then you are going to see the FDA take a closer look,” says Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], a trade group representing app developers.

It’s the middle bucket — reserved for apps intended “for general wellness use” i.e. the majority of consumer-facing digital apps on the market — where the agency’s involvement gets murkier. While the FDA isn’t interested in overseeing the majority of these apps, “it’s not giving up the ability to do so if something bad happens,” says Reed.

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Politico

Politico | July 14, 2016

Tech groups back ICPA

ACT | The App Association and several tech groups, including CTA, CCIA and TechNet, sent a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees this morning, expressing support for the International Communications Privacy Act , a bipartisan bill introduced this past May. The legislation establishes a legal framework for how U.S. law enforcement can access the digital data of Americans and foreign nationals, regardless of where it’s geographically stored. “ICPA reinforces that U.S. law enforcement must obtain a warrant for any electronic content for U.S. persons, settles uncertainty around obtaining such information for foreign nationals, and augments international rule of law by improving the MLAT process,” they write.

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eWeek

eWeek | July 14, 2016

Microsoft Wins Appeal in Ireland Email Case

Morgan Reed, executive director of the ACT | App Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization representing mobile app developers and device makers, said the latest court ruling is a win for both consumers and cloud providers.

“Consumers demand access to data on their mobile devices from any location. They have come to expect that documents stored online receive the same protections as those in a physical form,” he said in an email sent to eWEEK.

“Microsoft’s interest in this case was no different than that of fledgling startups. Specifically, American companies need clarity around how and when law enforcement can access data stored overseas,” continued Reed.

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Quartz

Quartz | July 12, 2016

90% of software developers work outside Silicon Valley

A study by the software trade group The App Association analyzed government and private sector data to map where software developers live, and it identified 223,054 open positions around the country. It found that most developers live far away from the technology epicenter of Silicon Valley, and job openings follow a similar pattern.

“You can find places where you didn’t expect software developers to be, but they are part of the local economy,” said association spokesman Jonathan Godfrey in an interview. “It’s pretty much everywhere.”

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InnovatioNews

InnovatioNews | July 5, 2016

Report: Boulder software developers bring $600M to area’s local economy

“Boulder has one of the highest concentrations of software developers in the country, but there aren’t enough to meet demand,” said Jonathan Godfrey, VP for public affairs at ACT | The App Association. “This means that about $50 million in annual income is left on the table by companies unable to hire developers.”

“The problem is that we aren’t teaching students the necessary skills from an early age.”

….

Representative Jared Polis (CO-02) has been a leading voice in Congress on the issue, working to make computer science education a national priority.

“To meet the needs of the global, high-tech economy, we must provide all students with access to a top-quality education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, no matter their zip code, Polis said.

“In Colorado, high-tech businesses are constantly scouting out skilled workers for good-paying jobs with room for promotion.”

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Politico Morning eHealth

Politico | June 27, 2016

Big Rule Creates M-Acra-Mony Between Doctors, CMS

The App Association’s Connected Health Initiative will urge CMS to waive Medicare’s restrictions on telemedicine for alternative payment models, incorporate patient-generated health data into the Advancing Care Information portion of the MIPS program and count remote monitoring as a Clinical Practice Improvement Activity.

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Associations Now

Associations Now | June 23, 2016

Plenty of App Developer Jobs, But….

Even if you’re not involved in the software engineering space, you might find [ACT | The App Association]’s study a must-look—because of the way it was released. Rather than in PDF form or even as a traditional webpage, ACT released it as an interactive map, using the ArcGIS Story Map Journal tool to highlight interesting data and even add graphics. Learn more about Story Map Journal on the Esri website.

When it comes to software development, the jobs are out there, but the positions aren’t so easy to fill. That’s according to a new report by ACT [|] The App Association, which reports about the huge number of openings, as well as the major misconceptions about those openings—the biggest of which is where the jobs can be found.

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Fast Company

Fast Company| June 21, 2016

Map: Where The Developer Jobs Are

Part of the blame goes to the education system in the U.S., which is not churning out enough budding coders. Only one in eight U.S. high schools offers Advanced Placement (AP) computer science coursework, a new study from the App Association shows. Advanced Placement courses are aimed at high-performing and motivated students, and offer them college credits if they pass.

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Politico

Politico | June 21, 2016

Computer Science Still Missing from Most Classrooms

A report from the [ACT | The App Association] has found that only 13 percent of high schools across the U.S. offer AP Computer Science, despite overwhelming demand for workers with such skills. McLean, Va., Roswell, Ga., and College Park, Md., were among the top in areas that had the highest proportion of schools providing computer science coursework. “It’s crazy that we have more students taking AP Latin than AP Computer Science,” said ACT VP of Public Affairs Jonathan Godfrey. “In a booming tech economy, the path to success is clear for students who can code.”

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KTVU

KTVU| June 21, 2016

Study Shows Public Schools Failing Students When It Comes to Computer Science

ACT | The App Association, a Washington based think tank, represents more than 5,000 technology firms. The group released a statement saying public schools, elementary through high, across the country are failing students. With only 13.2% offering computer science nationwide. In the Bay Area that percentage is higher, but not by much. With only 20% of San Francisco and 19% of Oakland schools offering Computer Science classes. Something researchers say means trouble when these students look for jobs.

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Gray TV Inc.

Gray TV | June 21, 2016

Report shows thousands of tech job openings and a serious need for computer science education

Keeping up with the evolving job market is proving difficult for many American schools. A new report released today by the [ACT | The App Association] shows hundreds of thousands of software developer job openings, but not enough people to fill them.

Jonathan Godfrey from [ACT | The App Association] says kids need to dive into computer science at a young age to develop an interest in software development.

“There’s always a shortage of software developers,” said Jonathan Godfrey, VP of Public Affairs for ACT.

Godfrey led the research team on the ACT report, that shows over 223,000 job openings for software developers. He says American schools just aren’t teaching these important subjects.

“It’s really crazy to think that because this is one of the most financially rewarding professions out there,” said Godfrey. “The average salary for a software developer throughout the United States is $104,000.”

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Inc.

Inc.| June 20, 2016

This Map Shows Where All the Open Software Engineering Jobs Are in the U.S.

These jobs, which on average pay more than $104,000 in annual salary, are scattered throughout all corners of the United States and often sit unfilled for months as companies struggle to find and recruit individuals skilled in writing code, according to ACT | The App Association, which on Monday released the new tool and a corresponding report. The hope for this map is that it will highlight the need for increased computer science education throughout the country, said Jonathan Godfrey, vice president for public affairs at ACT.

“Demand for developers is happening in every corner of this country, every region, every small town in this country,” said Godfrey, who hopes the map will make it easier for lawmakers outside of the Bay Area to understand how important the tech sector has become in their own districts.

The map shows how many filled and unfilled jobs there are in every American city, the average salary per market and the number of tech jobs per Congressional district.

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Broadcasting & Cable

Broadcasting & Cable| June 9, 2016

NTIA Praised for Domain Name Sign-Off

“The announcement from NTIA provided just the impetus the community needed to round out the accountability mechanisms inside ICANN and harden the organization against capture by governments,” said Jonathan Zuck, president of ACT | The App Association. That was not a big surprise since Zuck was part of the working group that helped create the transition proposal.

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Politico

Politico| June 4, 2016

What the Government Should do About IoT

The App Association emphasized the value of encryption in IoT security. “Encryption’s role should not be understated — without encryption, entire economies and industries are put at a significantly heightened risk of their data being compromised,” the group said, while also emphasizing information sharing.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer| June 1, 2016

Kid’s Got Anxiety? There’s an App for that

Since the first children’s meditation app – Diviniti Publishing’s the Magic Castle – launched in 2010, about 20 new apps for kids focusing on relaxation and mindfulness have hit the market, according to [ACT | The App Association], which represents software companies in the mobile app community.

Although adult meditation apps are still more popular, with about 10 million users, those directed specifically at children have grown from 500 downloads in 2010 to more than 4 million today, said Jonathan Godfrey, vice president for public affairs.

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Morning Consult

Morning Consult| May 26, 2016

The Sharing Economy and the Tax Code Don’t Get Along

But [ACT | The App Association] warns against reclassifying all sharing economy workers as employees, arguing that such a move would be “detrimental” to the sharing economy and small businesses specifically.

Morgan Reed, ACT’s executive director, also says the “heavy-handed” enforcement of outdated tax regulations “threatens both the innovation driving the sharing economy.”

He suggested the IRS improve its transparency and offer guidance for companies in the sharing economy.

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Fast Company

Fast Company | May 25, 2016

Due To Fuzzy Rules, Sharing-Economy Workers Often Underpay Or Overpay Their Taxes

The U.S. tax system was not prepared for the rise of on-demand or sharing-economy businesses like Uber and TaskRabbit. Or maybe it’s that sharing-economy contractors have trouble navigating the labyrinthine tax code.

Actually it’s both.

Sharing-economy companies, it turns out, have a good reason for not training contractors on tax issues, [ACT | The App Association] director Morgan Reed pointed out. When they do, they appear to be treating contractors like full-time employees, and can come under pressure to provide other benefits reserved for full-timers.

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FierceMobileHealthcare

FierceMobileHealthcare | May 23, 2016

App Association’s Morgan Reed: mHealth must move out of ‘pilot project’ phase

It’s been a busy few months for ACT | The App Association, which recently came out against the proposed Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016.

Morgan Reed, (right) executive director of ACT | The App Association, told FierceMobileHealthcare in an interview that the legislation would be incredibly damaging to consumer trust in connected health applications.

“History shows any backdoor engineered into a secure system inevitably opens up troves of sensitive information to criminals,” he said “In the health context, this would lead to private health data and financial information being sold on the black market. The proposed bill not only requires app makers to build backdoors into their products, but it also forces platforms to ‘ensure’ every app they sell has a backdoor.”

Reed added that such a move would “turn software distribution companies into the police, undermining the trust and security that is essential to protecting health records.”

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Politico

Politico| April 18, 2016

Tech Companies Better Than Gov at Security, Poll Says

Voters trust Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech companies to safeguard their information more than the federal government, according to a new wide-ranging poll on encryption out today from the App Association and Purple Strategies.

The association of application makers, also known at ACT, found that 54 percent of voters they surveyed picked the tech companies over the government, which garnered 21 percent. Of those polled, 92 percent agreed with the statement that encryption is needed for consumer protection, although most of the questions focused on the positives of encryption and negatives of backdoors. The industry group is opposed to Senate encryption legislation sponsored by Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein that is meant to help law enforcement officials access encrypted tech products for their investigations. “As policy makers look for a way forward, they should know that Americans understand that backdoors and other security vulnerabilities should not be part of the equation.”

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The Hill

The Hill| April 18, 2016

Overnight Tech: Apple, FBI ready for round two before Congress

A majority of voters trust major technology companies to protect customers’ personal information more than the federal government, according to a poll commissioned by The App Association.

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Washington Post

The Washington Post| April 18, 2016

App Developers Back Pacific Rim Trade Deal

An organization of more than 5,000 app developers will throw its support on Monday behind President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade deal, a move that administration officials said signals the benefits of the pact to the high-tech economy.

ACT | The App Association, which represents small and midsize companies, said in a statement that the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents “an invaluable template for how the United States can proactively use cutting-edge trade policy to modernize” international commerce.

ACT | The App Association highlighted six areas of the deal that it said would help technology firms, including protections on intellectual property, rules barring countries from requiring tech firms to set up local infrastructure, and the prohibition of charging customs duties on digital content.

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Los Angeles Times

Digital Trends| April 18, 2016

NYPD Sides With FBI in the War Against Unbreakable Encryption

A recent poll by ACT | The App Association surveyed 1,259 Americans and found that 92 percent of people agreed that encryption was necessary to protect data. More than 54 percent said they trusted companies more than the federal government to keep their data secure.

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The Verge

The Verge| April 13, 2016

Senator Vows Filibuster of Controversial Encryption Bill

So far, technology and privacy groups have been hostile to the bill, including the Software Alliance, the App Association, and the ITIF. The ACLU called the earlier draft “a clear threat to everyone’s privacy and security.” If the bill does pass, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pledged a legal effort that would keep the measures “tied up in the courts for years.”

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USA Today

USA Today| April 11, 2016

Proposed Senate Bill Would Require Tech Companies to Break Encryption

“The extent to which Burr-Feinstein would threaten the security of the entire Internet is simply breathtaking,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app makers. “The bill would force hundreds of thousands of companies to choose between breaking the law and protecting customer data. It would require everyone who writes software to provide the government with a backdoor.”

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Los Angeles Times

LATimes| April 8, 2016

Justice Department still seeks Apple’s help to unlock a drug dealer’s iPhone

Morgan Reed, executive director for the ACT | The App Association, a software industry group in Washington, D.C., said the bill is “incredibly broad.”

The draft bill, he said in a telephone interview, requires companies to hand over data requested by courts in divorce and other civil proceedings in addition to criminal cases. It also would force software vendors such as Apple’s iTunes App Store to block the sale of apps and programs that the government can’t access fully with court orders.

“This really isn’t a starting point for anything,” Reed said. “This is an ending point for our current innovation economy,” he said.

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re/code

re/code| April 8, 2016

The New Encryption Bill Isn’t Finished and Silicon Valley Already Hates it

The ACT | App Association, a trade group that represents more than 5,000 app developers, said the proposal would force companies to make the untenable choice between breaking the law and protecting consumer privacy. And it amounts to a government-mandated back door.

“It’s clear the bill authors lack a basic understanding of the technology industry or online commerce. The $8 trillion digital economy depends on secure encryption to function,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT. “Back doors create a fatal vulnerability that compromises this protection. The senators might as well take a hatchet to the entire Internet economy.”

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USA Today

USA Today| April 8, 2016

Proposed Senate Bill Would Require Tech Companies to Break Encryption

“The extent to which Burr-Feinstein would threaten the security of the entire Internet is simply breathtaking,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app makers. “The bill would force hundreds of thousands of companies to choose between breaking the law and protecting customer data. It would require everyone who writes software to provide the government with a backdoor.”

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Politico

Politico | April 8, 2016

Critics Savage Burr-Feinstein Encryption Bill

Critics pounced on a leaked discussion draft encryption bill written by Senate Intelligence leaders, saying it would harm privacy and security and might be unconstitutional.

Sen. Ron Wyden said the bill amounts to a backdoor into encrypted tech, even if it doesn’t specify how companies would have to comply. “For the first time in America, companies who want to provide their customers with stronger security would not have that choice — they would be required to decide how to weaken their products to make you less safe,” he said.

“The proposed legislation is dangerous,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association. “The extent to which Burr-Feinstein would threaten the security of the entire internet is simply breathtaking.”

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Associated Press

Associated Press| March 30, 2016

Resolution in the FBI case prolongs larger legal battle

Some in the tech industry worry that authorities will now try to pursue a smaller company – one without the financial and legal resources that Apple had – to win a favorable legal precedent that authorities could then use to pressure other firms – including heavyweights like Apple.

“When you’re a company of five people, you don’t have a general counsel’s office. You have a card table that everyone sits and codes at,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of a tech industry group known as [ACT | The App Association], which represents software application developers.

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Mac Observer

Mac Observer| March 29, 2016

DOJ Vows to Continue Using Courts to Compel Tech Companies to Defeat Encryption

I noted yesterday that the FBI was likely to attempt to gain a successful precedent against a softer opponent than Apple, a company with essentially unlimited resources, before coming after Apple again. This is a concept others are considering, as well, including The App Association. Morgan Reed, executive director, said:

“While the DOJ consistently claimed its motion was directed at one company and one phone, the fine print reveals it believes it can coerce any company to disable its security to provide government access. This applies to any company that makes products with software. App makers and IOT device makers can be forced to undermine the security that customers demand. These companies don’t possess Apple’s legal resources and are targets for a government agency desperate for precedent that allows for universal access to connected devices.”

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Ars Technica

Ars Technica | March 29, 2016

US Says It Would Use Court System Again to Defeat Apple

“While the DOJ consistently claimed its motion was directed at one company and one phone, the fine print reveals it believes it can coerce any company to disable its security to provide government access. This applies to any company that makes products with software,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association. “App makers and IOT device makers can be forced to undermine the security that customers demand. These companies don’t possess Apple’s legal resources and are targets for a government agency desperate for precedent that allows for universal access to connected devices.”

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USA Today

USA Today| March 28, 2016

Congress May Block Laws Mandating Access to Encrypted Devices

“Regulation addressing this technology must come from the federal government,” said [ACT | The App Association] Executive Director Morgan Reed, whose group represents software companies that create mobile Apps. “Any attempts by states to regulate independently in this space would create a patchwork of conflicting laws. This would be unmanageable and interfere with interstate commerce.”

Cybersecurity, he said “is an arms race,” and the best way to keep phones secure against hackers is for users to update their devices.”

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Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal| March 28, 2016

FBI Unlocks Terrorists iPhone Without Apple’s Help

“Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], called the move a win for consumers and the tech industry, but said that without knowing more about the method used by the FBI, it was hard to know what the security implications might be for iPhone users.

Cybersecurity, he said “is an arms race,” and the best way to keep phones secure against hackers is for users to update their devices.”

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Fast Company

Fast Company | March 28, 2016

Justice Department Withdraws Court Order, Ending Six-Week Encryption Fight With Apple

The App Association’s Morgan Reed points out that Issa asked FBI director James Comey during a hearing March 1 if he was sure that the FBI really needed Apple’s help to crack the Farook phone. Comey’s answer was vague.

“The government today announced what we had suspected all along,” Reed said in a statement. “The drastic measures sought by the FBI to compromise the security of smartphones and online commerce were never even necessary.”

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Washington Post

Washington Post  | March 23, 2016

Sweetgreen’s Blind Spot

“Is there a switch to be flipped? In both of the major platforms, Apple and Microsoft, the answer is yes,” says Morgan Reed, executive director of a trade group for app developers called ACT | The App Association. “I’m always disappointed when I see developers who haven’t jumped on it, because come on guys, it’s not hard.”

Reed points out that companies skipping the accessibility step can lose out on a potentially huge customer base: Not just people who’ve been blind from birth, but also those who lose vision as they age. Speech-to-text technology first developed for blind people is now in wide use as a convenience for people who can see just fine.

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Politico

Politico | March 22, 2016

Politico Influence: Hire Ed

Chelsea Thomas, most recently of Apple’s government affairs team and former international trade adviser for the Senate Finance Committee, and David Maloney, former director of strategic partnerships and innovation at National League of Cities, are joining ACT | The App Association. Thomas will be VP of operations and Maloney will direct membership and strategic partnerships. The association represents 5,000 app makers and connected device companies.

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Associated Press

Associated Press | March 3, 2016

Tech industry groups, security experts back Apple

Another filing from a group called ACT | The App Association, which represents independent app makers, noted that Apple has said it would take “between six and ten” engineers to create the software. A similar demand “would be exceptionally onerous for the small companies that constitute the majority of ACT’s members and that are the heart of the mobile economy,” the group argued.

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NPR

NPR | March 3, 2016

Tech Companies, Security Experts Express Support For Apple

ACT | The App Association, which represents software companies, focused on the burdens the government’s request would place on developers.

It also made an argument that will be familiar to anyone who has groaned in frustration after installing a brand-new software update:

“[T]he Government’s position borders on the absurd in the context of software development. Not only are the burdens imposed extraordinary (i.e., diverting resources from company’s actual business to being a tool of government), but the goals the Government seeks to achieve are far from assured. As any computer user knows, many software patches, which are far more basic than what the Government seeks to compel here, fail to fix problems, make other things worse, or simply necessitate more patches.”

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BloombergBusiness

BloombergBusiness | March 2, 2016

Digital Rights Groups Join Apple’s iPhone Fight With FBI

Further support for Apple was filed by the App Association, an advocacy group for more than 5,000 small and midsize application developers and technology firms. It said the government’s position may set a precedent that could badly damage the app economy.

“The Department of Justice continues to claim this is just about one phone, one specific case, and one company, but it still isn’t true,” Morgan Reed, the group’s executive director, said in a statement about its friend-of-the-court filing. “What the government is demanding would undermine security and privacy practices across the board and would have a devastating impact on the entire industry.”

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fedscoop

Fedscoop | March 2, 2016

App Makers Fret Over Apple Crypto Cases Impact

App developers bound by federal standards for mHealth software are concerned they’re getting mixed signals from the government about encryption in relation to the Apple-vs-FBI case.

Speaking to lawmakers on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s research and tech subcommittee Wednesday, Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, said his trade group’s members are hearing conflicting messages from the government regarding privacy, encryption and data security.

He specifically referenced the House Judiciary Committee hearing from Tuesday, during which FBI Director James Comey defended his agency’s use of the court system to try to compel Apple to help unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“On one hand, you have Comey saying, ‘Well, I don’t know about this encryption stuff’ at a certain level — and yet, NIST is telling us in order to protect privacy and health, that we must engage with high-level cybersecurity elements, like encryption,” Reed told lawmakers.

A representative from the trade group said later it wasn’t aware of any of its mHealth members receiving subpoenas for information on their users, but Reed called on Congress to “make sure they’re giving us the right message and make sure the solution makes some sense.”

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International Business Times

International Business Times | March 2, 2016

Solidarity With Apple Masks Unease In Silicon Valley About Legal Fight Over Dead Terrorist’s iPhone

“We continue to meet with policymakers to discuss the critical role encryption plays in our daily lives, far beyond the current debate,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents thousands of app developers. “It’s how we are able to use an ATM, shop online, and store sensitive health data.”

The hope is to head off legislation that would weaken encryption, and the plan is to carry out these lobbying efforts at all levels of government — from state legislative chambers up to the White House — throughout 2016, setting up the foundation for a larger push next year following the election season.

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International Business Times

International Business Times | February 29, 2016

Solidarity With Apple Masks Unease In Silicon Valley About Legal Fight Over Dead Terrorist’s iPhone

“We continue to meet with policymakers to discuss the critical role encryption plays in our daily lives, far beyond the current debate,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents thousands of app developers. “It’s how we are able to use an ATM, shop online, and store sensitive health data.”

The hope is to head off legislation that would weaken encryption, and the plan is to carry out these lobbying efforts at all levels of government — from state legislative chambers up to the White House — throughout 2016, setting up the foundation for a larger push next year following the election season.

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Fast Company

Fast Company | February 29, 2016

In Another iPhone Unlocking Case, The Judge Sides With Apple

Apple has yet to make a statement on the ruling, but others who might be impacted by Apple’s fate in the matter are speaking out.

“Judge Orenstein showed a healthy amount of skepticism for the government’s efforts to twist and distort the All Writs Act to justify forcing companies to hack their own products,” said the App Association’s executive director Morgan Reed in a statement. The group represents small and mid-sized app developers, which the government could compel to provide backdoors to user data.

“To paraphrase the Princess Bride, the judge basically said, ‘You keep citing that law. I do not think it means what you think it means,’” Reed said, colorfully. “This is major setback for the government’s campaign to force Apple and other companies to weaken the security of their products.”

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International Business Times

International Business Times | February 23, 2016

Apple vs. FBI Sets Up Encryption Showdown On Hill, Divided Lawmakers Cross Party Lines

“Congress must do its job,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, a trade group that represents app developers. “It might not happen in 24 hours, but you are seeing that they know they have a job to do and that it’s their responsibility.”

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Fast Company

Fast Company | February 18, 2016

Apple To Challenge Court’s Decryption Order As “Unreasonably Burdensome”

The App Association worries that a master key would have a reverse effect on stopping digital crimes. “The world has moved mobile with consumers expecting access to their most important data through the cloud,” said the group’s executive director Morgan Reed. “The smartphones and tablets we use must maintain the strongest security to keep our most sensitive, private data safe.”
“The FBI’s demands would substantially undermine our best means of keeping critical data out of the hands of criminals and bad actors,” Reed said in an email statement to Fast Company.

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International Business Time

International Business Times | February 18, 2016

Following Apple Opposition, Legislation Would Penalize Companies For Not Deciphering Encryptions

Predictably, the tech industry is already opposing Burr’s legislation. “The world has moved mobile with consumers expecting access to their most important data through the cloud. The smartphones and tablets we use must maintain the strongest security to keep our most sensitive, private data safe,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, a tech industry trade group.

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BBC

BBC | February 17, 2016

Apple order: White House says San Bernardino request is limited

But Jonathan Godfrey, vice president of the App Association which represents companies in the mobile app community, highlights the importance of maintaining “the strongest security to keep our most sensitive, private data safe” as smartphone and tablet consumers increasingly expect access to their most important data through the cloud.
“The FBI’s demands would substantially undermine our best means of keeping critical data out of the hands of criminals and bad actors,” he told BBC News.

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Soapbox Cincinnati

Soapbox Cincinnati | February 15, 2016

Queen City Mobile Summit brings national recognition to local app developers

 

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Cincinnati will play host to the Queen City Mobile Summit, a collaboration among national and local players to spark discussion about the state of mobile app technology and where it’s headed.

This will be the fourth such mobile summit organized by ACT | The App Association, a national organization representing the app industry through education and advocacy. Previous summits were held in Salt Lake City; Eugene, Ore.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to bring attention to the great app development going on where it might not be typically expected.

“It’s really about highlighting and getting to know the community outside Silicon Valley,” says Courtney Bernard, Communications Manager for ACT. “Contrary to popular belief, most of the highest grossing apps are not from Silicon Valley.”

A few of those have even come from Cincinnati, a market that seemed like a natural fit for the association’s next summit. The event will be co-organized by Possible, the global digital media and marketing agency with its second largest office in Cincinnati, and The Brandery.More

The New Economy

The New Economy | January 15, 2016

Why your business needs an app

 … This market, which didn’t even exist 10 years ago, is expected to be worth $143bn in 2016, according to Developer Economics. “The growth of the app economy has transformed how businesses function today,” said Morgan Reed, Executive Director of [ACT | The] App Association. “In just seven years, the app industry has emerged as a $120bn marketplace. This tremendous growth shows no signs of abating.”

Far cheaper than bricks-and-mortar stores, apps, if employed to good effect, can reach customers while on the move and build more of a back-and-forth between company and consumer. Looking at the App Association’s findings for 2014, the majority of the world’s leading 650 apps are either from start-ups or small companies (77 percent). “Success is accruing to new entrants and nimble companies that are quick to respond to opportunities in the rapidly evolving mobile marketplace,” said the report.

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The Hill

The Hill | November 25, 2015

FRAND: The foundation for innovation

By Morgan Reed:

Smartphones have permeated our lives.  From finding a restaurant to communicating with co-workers, it is difficult to remember when we did not have the Internet at our fingertips – even though it was really just a bit more than 10 years ago.

This ubiquitous connectivity has enabled a broad range of industries to come together to build the Internet of Things (IoT) – an ecosystem that stitches together our homes, cars, phones and watches, creating endless opportunities to improve our healthcare, safety, and lifestyles.

While we have come so far, the convergence of computing and mobile technologies is really just finishing its first act – and there are many more to come.  However, the future of mobile innovation and connectivity could soon be in question.  The very patent and standards systems that fostered the wireless innovation boom could be in peril as companies are reneging on the very business compacts that provided the foundation for our wireless boom.

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Politico

Politico eHealth | November 17, 2015

Time to turn in your homework

Responses are due today on CMS’s request for information on implementing policies required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Early birds filed their comments Monday

….A coalition of telehealth advocates, including ACT | The App Association, called for including “remote monitoring of patient generated health data” as a subcategory of clinical practice improvement activities, and urged Medicare remove telemedicine restrictions for doctors practicing in alternative payment models.

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FierceMobileHealthcare

Fierce Mobile Healthcare | November 9, 2015

Who should play point guard on healthcare data security, user privacy?

… ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed … pointed out that some big platform providers have already stepped up to make a strong commitment to privacy, citing how Microsoft’s HealthVault incorporates over 371 devices into its storage and management system and puts the user in control of who gets to see, use, add and share health data and what apps can have access to that data.

Apple has taken a similar approach with its HealthKit, Reed said, as it allows apps and devices to work together in one safe, secure place, providing a user with a complete picture of their health via the Health app.

Reed also noted how consumers, patients and physicians “place greater value on companies they can trust with sensitive health information.”

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Inside Cybersecurity

Inside Cybersecurity | November 9, 2015

FCC ‘security by design’ group adds members, eyes deliverables

The working group 6 effort is co-chaired by Brian Scarpelli of [ACT | The App Association] and Joel Molinoff of CBS.

Scarpelli said the “security by design” working group now includes about 60 members – up from 40 in September – representing the various “communities” in the telecom sector. That includes carriers and IT companies on both the hardware and software sides, he said.

“We’re on schedule, we have heavy engagement, actual debate and we’re developing a good consensus,” Scarpelli said. He said the final product won’t be a “snapshot of ‘security by design’ today, but rather “a framework for going forward.”

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The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal | October 8, 2015

Small Firms Worry, as Big-Data Pact Dies

Morgan Reed, [executive] director of [ACT | The App Association], which represents 5,000 app developers and is sponsored by Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook, said… “Our small businesses are the collateral damage of this case.”

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VentureBeat

VentureBeat | September 24, 2015

NSA director just admitted that government copies of encryption keys are a big security risk

“The NSA chief Admiral Rogers today confirmed what encryption experts and data scientists have been saying all along: if the government requires companies to provide copies of encryption keys, that will only weaken data protection and open the door for malicious actors and hackers,” said Morgan Reed of the App Association in a note to VentureBeat.

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Venture Beat News

VentureBeat | September 18, 2015

Google demands reform for 30-year-old U.S. data privacy act

One of the circumstances in which law enforcement can currently exploit vagaries in the ECPA is to obtain access to data owned by a foreign citizen without a warrant. The Department of Justice, for example, can claim that right when the data is stored in the servers of an American company, regardless of data privacy rights granted the citizen by his own country’s laws.

Some believe this use of the ECPA is hurting U.S. tech companies’ trade relations with other countries. The App Association’s Morgan Reed had this to say about that claim…:

“For American tech companies to remain global leaders, we must be clear with our trading partners that their citizens can store data in their home country with a U.S. company and retain the privacy protections provided by their sovereign government,” Reed said…

The App Association supports a bipartisan piece of legislation called the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) to fix the problems in the ECPA. The legislation establishes a clear set of rules governing how law enforcement can access data stored abroad.

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International Business TImes

International Business Times | September 17, 2015

Apple Inc.’s iOS 9 Spotlight In-App Search Could Make Google Obsolete By Indexing Content From Every App You Own (And Some You Don’t)

Apple’s Spotlight search in iOS 9 has been retrofitted to be capable of searching for content found inside of apps from the Apple App Store. This feature shows users information from apps whether or not they’ve already got the apps installed on their devices. It’s an interesting new twist that many developers hope will help their apps get discovered more easily and, in turn, drive more installations.

Spotlight should become more useful over time as more and more developers optimize their apps for the tool. Although meeting the criteria for Spotlight will require more work for developers, many are expected to adopt Apple’s standards because they’re committed to the iPhone and have previously seen the benefits of shifting their apps to include new iOS features, said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association.

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Multichannel News

Multichannel News | September 15, 2015

Privacy groups push ECPA reform

Privacy and limited government groups in the Digital 4th Coalition say it is imperative that Congress update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to better protect cloud-stored e-mails held by ISPs from government surveillance, and without any harmful amendments that would give federal agencies like the SEC a carve-out from those heightened protections.

[ACT | The App Association executive director Morgan] Reed said that if Congress does not act, app developers trying to grow their businesses internationally will not be able to provide a satisfactory answer to the question: “What happens to my [data].” If the company cannot provide a straightforward answer that makes sense, “we lose that business, which means we lose jobs and opportunities to innovate.”

He said that other companies are trying to grab app business from the U.S. by pointing to the uncertainty about date. “We are losing to competitors because they can answer the question: ‘How are you handling our data.'”

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The Gazette

The Gazette | September 14, 2015

Iowa Startup Accelerator gets national award

“With top app companies flourishing in the Cedar Rapids area, we had to come check it out for ourselves,” [ACT | The App Association executive director Morgan] Reed said. “The Iowa Startup Accelerator recently launched its second cohort with an impressive group of start-ups spanning health, music, commerce and education.

“We have visited startup accelerators across the country. We were amazed with the breadth of the entrepreneurs you are attracting and the way you are coalescing people around some original ideas.”

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Bloomberg Business

Bloomberg Business | September 14, 2015

Iowa Startup Accelerator gets national award

The Iowa Startup Accelerator on Monday accepted a national award for creating an environment that fosters the growth of tech entrepreneurship in the Corridor.

[ACT | The App Association] in Washington, D.C., recognized the startup accelerator with its App Economy Spotlight Award. Previous recipients have made extraordinary contributions in their communities to promote innovation in the app economy.

Morgan Reed, executive director of [The App Association], said he has heard Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speak proudly in Washington, D.C., of the entrepreneurial culture of companies in Iowa.

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Fierce Mobile Healthcare

FierceMobileHealthcare | September 10, 2015

Apple Watch OS update widens door for mHealth app capabilities

AirStrip Technologies then demonstrated how Watch, using the San Antonio, Texas-based company’s app and monitoring technology, can help physicians better track patient appointments and also provide real-time data on ailments and status. Doctors can receive and send data such as lab test results, as well as vital signs data provided via a mobile device from a patient.

Morgan Reed, executive director for ACT | The App Association, was among AirStrip’s supporters.

“We’re proud to see AirStrip take to Apple’s big stage today and demo its incredible technology for the Apple Watch,” Reed said in a statement. “The apps take full advantage of the powerful sensors packed inside the Watch, providing doctors and patients with live data on vitals–from anywhere.”

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QMed | September 10, 2015

Apple Positions Its Smartwatch as a Medical Monitor

“One of the first people on the stage at Apple’s announcement was Cameron Powell, MD, co-founder of AirStrip Technologies, who discussed the impact that the new iOS watch can have of healthcare,” says Morgan Reed, executive director of the App Association …

“What is really groundbreaking here is that achieving this level of functionality in the past would have required a monumental medical device that took up a corner of a hospital room. It is now something that is worn on your wrist and ties into your consumer phone,” Reed says.

The technology could be a popular with doctors as well. “It is great for physicians who are constantly looking for new ways to keep track of their patients: what is going on with them, what is their condition, and not having to wait for their beeper to go off and then call a nurse,” Reed says. “On a single pane of glass of a mobile device, a physician can see in real time a 12-lead EKG or the heart rate read on an expectant mother directly. That is incredibly powerful.” The promise for physicians is better patient monitoring and for patients, the promise is engagement in their own healthcare, he adds.

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Bloomberg | August 25, 2015

Technology conference coming to UO campus

“Through our founding member from Oregon, Mike Sax, we’ve been introduced to Eugene companies that are changing the way the world works, shops, and plays in a mobile environment,” Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, said in prepared remarks.

“We’ve paid close attention to the Willamette Valley’s progress and marveled at its pace of innovation,” he said. “That’s why we decided to check out the region for ourselves, to explore what entrepreneurs do best here and learn how we can help this community prosper.”

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NPR for Oregonians | August 25, 2015

Eugene’s Techies Get Together

About 300 people who are part of, or interested in, Eugene’s booming tech scene came to the App Industry Eugene Conference. Morgan Reed is [executive director] of The App Association, based out of Washington D.C.

Reed: “We’re fortunate that Eugene is actually a hotbed of really clever, innovative technologies that are hitting the market.”

One of those is SheerID, an app that helps verify people’s status as college students or members of the military. It’s used by companies that offer discounts or special benefits to students and military. Jake Weatherly says his company is based in Eugene because of the lifestyle.

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The Register-Guard | August 25, 2015

App developers meeting today on UO campus

An international advocacy group for mobile app developers and the Silicon Shire, a local tech networking group, are joining forces to host a conference today focused on technology development.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Peter DeFazio and a roundtable of local entrepreneurs moderated by Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, co-host of the event.
The association says it has more than 5,000 members worldwide.

….

The association has been impressed by Eugene companies such as Concentric Sky, which has developed apps for National Geographic and the United Nations, among other clients; and SheerID, which developed a new way to verify a consumer’s eligibility for discounts for special groups, such as students or military members, App Association spokesman Jonathan Godfrey said.

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Politico | August 25, 2015

TODAY: WYDEN TOUTS TECH-FRIENDLY TRADE WORK IN OREGON

Sen. Ron Wyden will join ACT | The App Association today in Eugene, Ore., to discuss the emergence of the state’s “Silicon Shire” as a driver of innovation in the U.S.

Rep. Peter DeFazio is also scheduled to speak at the event. Details here: http://bit.ly/1NFA9H0

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JD Supra Business Advisor | August 13, 2015

House Judiciary Subcommittee Holds Hearing On The Internet Of Things

In a July 29, 2015 hearing, lawmakers asked a panel of witnesses—all industry representatives—about the current and future challenges facing the Internet of Things, and what role, if any, Congress should play in addressing these concerns. The Internet of Things refers to network-connected items able to exchange data with each other across existing network infrastructure. Data security and privacy concerns were some of the issues that dominated policymakers’ attention during the hearing.

….

Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], stated that [legally mandated “backdoors” in encryption], which he referred to as “overzealous” government action, would hurt U.S. technology companies conducting business in other countries and weaken U.S. competitiveness.

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HealthData Management | August 6, 2015

Connected Health Devices Generate Innovation and Consternation

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app and technology vendors, told lawmakers that by 2050 there will be more than 83 million Americans over the age of 65 and 80 percent will have at least one chronic condition, straining public and private health resources. According to Reed, the medical innovation of IoT is “imperative to prevent a cataclysmic economic outcome from this boom in aging adults.”

But the technology comes with its own challenges. The future of health IoT must be founded on trust which requires strong security and privacy measures, asserted Reed. At the same time, he lamented that the lack of clarity around reimbursement is also an impediment to the adoption of these innovative technologies.

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FierceMobileHealthcare

Fierce Mobile Healthcare | August 3, 2015

Getting Congress to understand promise of IoT important for healthcare innovation

[ACT | The App Association’s] primary testimony goal, Reed said, was to help Congress understand the promise IoT offers. He said he wanted to make sure congressional leaders don’t think it’s all about having a refrigerator on the Internet–which Reed noted “misses just how powerful all of these connective devices can be for helping us live our lives with more control and less waste.”

….

The second goal, explained Reed, is getting Congress to wipe out outdated laws that threaten all the promise inherent in IoT. “If we are mired in a legal framework that treats cloud data as though it has no value, then we are doomed to fail,” he said.

Reed is hopeful the hearing will lead to Congress addressing the concerns related to government access to cloud data, specifically moving to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Protection Act–with the inclusion of the LEADS Act. Such action, he said, would illustrate “how our society has embraced the internet and mobile connectivity.”

We’re hoping that as well.

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iHealthBeat | July 31, 2015

Industry Leaders Push for Self-Regulation in Mobile Health Sector

[ACT | The App Association’s] Reed argued the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (USC 2510-22) — which allows the government to look up electronic data, including HIPAA-protected health information, after 180 days without a warrant — makes it difficult for companies to gain patients’ trust because there is no guarantee that their information will not be obtained by the government. He added that the law creates a competitive disadvantage for global companies that can choose to operate outside of the U.S. to protect their data.

Reed noted, “While there’s currently no legislation on encryption, we ask that you take seriously any government efforts that would require companies to put citizens’ data at risk.”

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Mobi Health News | July 30 2015

At Internet of Things hearing, industry groups petition Congress for light regulatory touch

Both Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association and Gary Shapiro, CEO and President of the Consumer Electronics Association, spoke about health in their testimonies.

Reed…focused his talk entirely on the mobile health segment, describing how, in the future, “rather than a yearly update on one’s vitals in a doctor’s office, sensors will empower people to share it with a care team, have it incorporated in a cloud-based health record, or shown on a dashboard app in just a few taps.” Services like Microsoft HealthVault, Apple Health, and Apple ResearchKit are already moving in that direction, he said. Yet as of now, few doctors are willing to prescribe these tools to patients, because of regulatory uncertainty.

“Questions about privacy, security, reimbursement, and government regulation meet to create an environment where companies are worried about making devices more medically relevant, and physicians worry about the impact on their practices,” Reed said.

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CEO Update | July 30, 2015

Association CEOs lay out visions for growing Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has the potential to touch nearly every aspect of life, but if it is to grow, then government should approach regulation of the technology carefully, the heads of four associations told federal lawmakers Wednesday.

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, focused on the health care implications of having devices that could constantly monitor a person’s vital signs. Imagine instead of annual appointments, patients could store a continuous record of vitals in the cloud and share that data with doctors.

“Patients and care providers must also know that their information is private and secure,” he said. “Industry best practices around the treatment of sensitive health data, as well as a commitment from government to support these practices, are important to establish trust and push this industry forward.”

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VentureBeat | July 29, 2015

White House calls for upgrade to law protecting consumer cloud data from law enforcement

In the wake of revelations about NSA data surveillance in the last few years, foreign companies have experienced a drop in confidence when it comes to storing data in the clouds of U.S. companies, says Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association.

European leaders have even proposed a Europe-only cloud. “And these proposals aren’t coming from fringe actors,” Reed points out in a recent article. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes are among the leading voices calling for these drastic steps.”

The issue of government access to cloud data took center stage today at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Internet of Things. Watch the opening comments of App Association’s Reed.

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Politico | July 29, 2015

Health care technology earns praise at Internet of Things hearing

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet are thrilled about the potential of the Internet of Things to improve health care — they’re just not exactly sure how government should regulate it.

But adding privacy and security requirements might be the best stimulus for the industry, argued the App Association’s Morgan Reed. While 50 percent of doctors are interested in wearables, only 15 percent actively recommend them to patients, Reed said. He said doctors are hesitant to recommend them because they’re unsure how the data will be treated — so appropriate safeguards would give consumers and doctors more confidence to use them, he said. Reed said the industry can outline best practices, which would be enforced by the FTC.

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Federal Computer Week | July 29, 2015

Rules for the IoT: ‘Only what’s necessary and no more’

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, said that while doctors see the potential inherent in the IoT, they are wary of making use of it due to concerns about the security of patient information.

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NextGov | July 29, 2015

HOUSE TALKS ‘INTERNET OF THINGS,’ DATA PRIVACY

“This an issue that Congress has to step in on,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of trade group ACT | The App Association. “The problem comes when I have to tell a customer, ‘I don’t know'” when they ask which of their data could be passed along to the government.”

The United States’ data-sharing policies could affect privacy policies abroad, he added.

“If the U.S. government says, ‘we have access to any cloud data at any time . . . regardless of where the data is stored and who [owns it],’ we have to expect that Russia will want to same privileges from our companies . . . that China will want the same privileges,” Reed said.

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Politico | July 29, 2015

INTERNET OF THINGS HEARING RUNS THE GAMUT

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, plans to focus on emerging healthcare technologies, but don’t be surprised if he takes a few shots at the Justice Department over its demands for access to encrypted communications.

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Politico | July 29, 2015

ON GOES CONGRESS

With Congress ticking down the hours until recess, the House Judiciary Committee is squeezing in one more hearing before people pack up: on the Internet of Things. Morgan Reed, the head of the App Association, focused his prepared testimony on the health implications of devices that push out digital data:

“Congress can, and in some cases, must play an important role in improving health outcomes for all Americans through innovative technologies,” he wrote.
“Patients and care providers must also know that their information is private and secure. Industry best practices around the treatment of sensitive health data, as well as a commitment from government to support these practices, are important to establish trust and push this industry forward.”

Reed believes that Congress needs to ensure that data flowing out of devices stays secure and private — which, in part, means keeping law enforcement away.

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FierceBigData | July 27, 2015

Congress to examine IoT

ACT: The App Association’s Executive Director Morgan Reed will be among those to offer testimony during the hearing. He’s expected to testify on IoT in the health space giving the association’s take on the state of the industry, barriers to innovation, and future use.

“The explosion of connected devices and sophisticated sensors has created an incredible opportunity for innovators,” said Reed in an announcement on his upcoming testimony. “But these technologies will not reach full potential without trust from users. Industry best practices around security and privacy of sensitive data will be important to earning that trust.”

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Forbes | July 24, 2015

Modern Tools In A Modern World: Questions From The House

First up, Morgan Reed, Executive Director of ACT | The App Association, gave a very clear overview of the app industry, including the monetary size of the industry, but especially interesting to me was the geographic spread of the industry – not just all in Silicon Valley – and the number of small businesses who are app developers creating all types of apps for all types of markets.

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Politico | July 23, 2015

SMALL-BUSINESS PANEL REVIEWS APP ECONOMY

The House Small Business subcommittee on technology will today look at the ways apps benefit small businesses and their effect on the overall economy. Chairwoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, from American Samoa, will say she also wants to hear about the ways apps help businesses in remote parts of the country. “The continued impact that the app industry will have on the United States economy are significant, and we must help foster that growth,” she’ll say, according to prepared remarks. Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, will highlight research that suggests app developers are based all around the country. One key data point: 77 percent of leading apps are from developers based outside of Silicon Valley.

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The Information | July 21, 2015

Coming Soon: More Text Spam

Some apps could sweeten the pot for users to spam their friends with texts by crediting their accounts with money. And of course users sometimes pull the trigger accidentally. Finally, there’s the possibility for outright deception about sending out marketing messages, which could trigger enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission as well as violating the FCC’s telemarketing rules.

“Ultimately, there appear to be two cops on the beat on this one, and they’re going to fight for turf,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of [ACT | The App Association], a trade group for app developers. “Industry trade groups, VCs and others are going to have to make sure we smack down bad behavior or let the ones who are acting poorly get taken to task by the FTC; if we don’t, the FCC will come back and change the rules.”

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Politico | July 7, 2015

Tech group chides White House on encryption

An industry group representing thousands of mobile application developers today asked the White House to reconsider the administration’s push against strong encryption, ahead of a Hill double-header on the topic tomorrow.

In the letter, ACT | The App Association wrote to President Barack Obama that efforts to create backdoors to encryption for law enforcement would “harm U.S. citizens and increase the likelihood of catastrophic breaches.”

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Developer.com | June 15, 2015

Report: 32% of Top iPhone Developers Are Newcomers

ACT | The App Association has released a new study titled “iOS App Economy Report,” which includes some interesting insights about the mobile development industry. One of the most notable is the fact that nearly a third (32 percent) of the developers currently on the lists of top apps in the App Store weren’t ranked a year ago.

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TechBeacon | June 12, 2015

Will Google Now make apps obsolete one day?

…apps are still going strong. “Consumers like self-contained apps,” says Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT|The App Association, which represents 5,000 app and IT companies worldwide. “They like apps that work in dead spots and whether or not they have WiFi”—a reference to Google’s offerings’ need to be connected to the Internet to function.

…”Understanding how a company generates its revenue is important in understanding what its products do,” Reed says. “With Google, more than 90 percent of its revenue is from advertising. It needs data to provide value to those advertisers.”

“Google has almost all the analytics for websites,” he says. “But they only have a fraction of that from the app world, so while Google Now’s ability to enhance applications is part of the story, their motivation for doing it needs to be connected to their business somewhere, and their business is advertising.”

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Fierce Developer | June 11, 2015

ACT: 32% of iOS developers weren’t ranked in the App Store a year ago

Although it may somtimes feel like the charts never change, 32 percent of the top iOS developers were not even ranking in Apple’s App Store a year ago, according to ACT | The App Association. The group’s iOS App Economy Report spanned the top 400 apps across key categories in the App Store, offering insight on growing app categories and the state of developing.

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IDG Connect | June 8, 2015

App Association predicts the next phase of the app economy

To get in on the buzz around the imminent Apple conference, The App Association has published a new report, WWDC Preview: The iOS App Economy, looking at the current and future trends around the App ecosystem Steve Jobs & Co. created…

One of the more surprising facts from the report was the geography of the App Store; 80% are US-based but Silicon Valley only represents a quarter of the apps in the iOS store. It’s true that a quarter of 1.4 million apps coming from such a geographically small area shows the Valley’s dominance, but it’s still a surprise to see that most apps actually come from outside the Valley. The North East Coast and the wider West Coast represent around 25% of the app store each while Middle America makes up the rest.

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San Francisco Chronicle | June 5, 2015

Apple Watch is currently half-app’d: Can developers change it?

Access to the sensors could help health app developers in particular. According to a report from the App Association, which represents 5,000 app developers and mobile technology firms, 40 percent of the top iPhone health apps have an integrated Watch app.
Weather and finance apps are also popular on the Watch.

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Politico | June 4, 2015

SNEAK PEEK

A new report coming later this morning says app companies aren’t as heavily concentrated in Silicon Valley as many might think. ACT | The App Association studied the 400 top-grossing apps in Apple’s App Store and found that 23 percent of the iOS “app economy” is based in Silicon Valley, 24 percent is based across the Northeast, and 26 percent is spread around the West Coast outside of the valley. The rest is roughly split between the Midwest and South. And when it comes to different types of apps — business, health, education, games, etc. — some regions have a much larger slice of the market than Silicon Valley.

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San Jose Mercury | May 30, 2015

Naming your mobile app can be rocky road

“If you’re doing a problem-solving app that you hope will get top-of-search in the App Store, you might choose a name that defines what it does,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, an advocacy group that represents 5,000 app companies and information tech firms. “The flip side is a name, like Twitter or Uber, that means almost nothing on its own, but is whimsical and attracts attention. And if you want to stand out among hundreds of thousands of competitors in the App Store, you definitely want to attract attention.”

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Washington Examiner | April 28, 2015

Fitbit and its kin struggle with data privacy, long-term use

All four panelists at Wednesday’s event at the Newseum in Washington emphasized their hope that users commit long-term to wearable devices, noting the benefits they could bring to both patients and the medical industry.

Morgan Reed, executive director at ACT-The App Association, said wearable devices hold the opportunity to empower users by giving them access to their own healthcare information.

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Politico Pro | May 27, 2015

Experts: Workplace protections needed for wearable data

Employers may look to use the data as a way to track participants in their workplace wellness programs. Because of that, noted Morgan Reed, the executive director of the App Association, there’s a need for industry standards “and fast.” Such data can prove damaging to patients: from an “ick factor,” associated with pervasive advertising based on a patient’s condition, to issues surrounding employment prospects.

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Newsworks | April 28, 2015

Could Apple Watch set the tone for health tech?

“I think Apple really put a flag in the ground when they came out with their Apple Watch and a set of developer agreements that really defined how (developers) can use the data,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association, a Washington, D.C., based trade organization that represents software companies.

Reed said Apple leaves personal health data on the device, and lets the user choose which apps to share it with. The company also restricts data from being used for targeted behavioral advertising.

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NPR | April 25, 2015

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

“Apple is leaving your HealthKit data on the device and not collecting it,” said Morgan Reed, executive director at The App Association, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that works with patient advocates and app developers.

According to Reed, this prevents third-party app developers from selling your health data without your consent.

“It also means that if an employer wants access to your health care information, they would have to demand that you give it to them,” he said.

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iHealthBeat | April 6, 2015

Groups Praise, Question ONC’s Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap

…a group of several industry stakeholders in a joint letter said that ONC’s roadmap should incorporate patient-generated data and remote monitoring devices.

They wrote, “While the focus has remained on increasing the use of EHR systems, EHRs are but one key component of the larger effort to improve the American health care system … Patient-facing applications … must be considered when addressing interoperability.”

The group included:
ACT | The App Association

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NPR | April 3, 2015

Will Smart Clothing Amp Up Your Workout?

Privacy is another concern. The App Association’s Reed says he’s satisfied that patient’s sensitive health information is protected – for now.

But Reed expressed fears that the next crop of smart clothing companies might opt to offset the high cost of their products by selling people’s health data to pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers and even employers.

“Would consumers understand that they’re buying the version that is monetizing through data sharing?” Reed said. “That’s the problem that everyone in the wearables industry is working on right now.”

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Politico Morning eHealth | March 24, 2015

Mobile Health on Tap at the White House

ACT | The App Association, brought tech entrepreneurs to the White House Monday to demonstrate mobile health and talk about privacy law. Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, said his group introduced small businesses driving the mobile health industry to senior White House staffers. “A big part of the discussion was the continuing need for HIPAA to not be a barrier, and how to get incentives realigned,” Reed said.

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Politico | March 24, 2015

App Developers Press White House on Encryption, LEADS

A handful of small tech companies and met with the White House on Monday as part of the fly-in organized by ACT | The App Association, where they talked with representatives about two hot-button issues for the tech set today: encryption and data stored abroad. “Our small companies drove home the importance of clarity around encryption and government access to data stored abroad,” Executive Director Morgan Reed said. “They expressed their strong support for the LEADS Act, which addresses privacy concerns around cloud-stored data abroad. White House staff was pleased to hear from some of the innovative startups affected by these issues.”

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Politico | March 23, 2015

App Makers Hit D.C.

More than 50 executives from small app-based firms will meet with lawmakers, regulators and administration officials over the next two days. During the fly-in, coordinated by ACT | The App Association, the app makers will talk about data privacy and security, Internet governance, patent reform and regulatory burdens. Executives in the meetings come from mobile companies like InterKnowlogy, AirStrip, Osurv, SheerID and others.

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Huffington Post | March 14, 2015

Why Pi Day Matters

By Morgan Reed:

“March 14th is a special date that math enthusiasts and educators mark on their calendars every year. It’s Pi Day, and many celebrate the occasion by highlighting the critical importance of computer science education.

Over the past decade, this enthusiasm has become a bit muted in the tech industry. It is becoming more difficult every year for us to find computer science graduates trained to fill the openings we have.”

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Electronic Health Reporter | March 10, 2015

Health IT Thought Leader Highlight: Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT | The App Association

By Morgan Reed:

“ACT | The App Association is spearheading an effort to bring updates to outdated health privacy laws with a group we recently launched called the Connected Health Initiative. This coalition of leading mobile health companies and key stakeholders urge Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt policies that encourage mobile health innovation.”

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Roll Call | March 2, 2015

Privacy Concerns Threaten Overseas Tech Industry

By Morgan Reed:

Since the Edward Snowden revelations of 2013, foreign governments have raised concern about the safety of their citizens’ data stored by American Internet companies.

They believe U.S. law enforcement authorities have access to any cloud-based data — and it’s putting the $174 billion industry at risk.
Alert to these fears, a bipartisan coalition in Congress is working to ensure American companies can assuage these concerns. Their solution is the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, Orrin G. Hatch and Dean Heller, and in the House by Reps. Suzan DelBene and Tom Marino.

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Politico | March 3, 2015

Accompanying Apple Watch, a medical surprise

Apple’s promise “should make users feel safe making contributions to global health research,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association.

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FierceMobileHealthcare | January 26, 2015

Why 2015 could be a watershed year for mHealth regulatory decisions

“…one best practice model is already in play … the plan ACT – The App Association initiated … to draw federal agency attention to outdated and murky regulatory guidance…”

“Reed and his group should be applauded for making such inroads in light of the inherent bureaucracy of any federal agency.”

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Mobi Health News | January 26, 2015

Government pledges to make HIPAA clearer for mobile health companies

“[HHS Secretary Sylvia] Burwell discusses OCR’s plans to meet with The App Association and others to address … current areas where there’s a lack of clarity about how HIPAA will be enforced …”

“[HHS Secretary Sylvia] Burwell discusses OCR’s plans to meet with The App Association and others to address …areas specifically pertaining to cloud technology…”

“[HHS Secretary Sylvia] Burwell discusses OCR’s plans to meet with The App Association and others to address … creating a system of wider feedback that OCR can continue to use …”

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FierceMobileHealthcare | January 25, 2015

Feds to clarify HIPAA for mobile health developers

“‘…we want explanations for how HIPAA applies in the mobile context. That’s what we want OCR to provide in the near future…’
– Morgan Reed, executive director, ACT | The App Association”

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VentureBeat | January 21, 2015

Government says it’ll do more to help mobile health developers comply with HIPAA privacy rules

“… members of Congress, at the request of The App Association, wrote a letter to the Office of Civil Rights … asking it to issue clearer guidelines for developers.”

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Politico | October 27, 2014

Starting an App Company? Still An American Dream

About 74 percent of top-grossing mobile apps are U.S. based, according to a new survey from the app trade group ACT. It’s also an industry dominated by small companies — 77 percent of those top apps were developed by companies with fewer than 500 employees. The survey looked at the top 650 apps in the Apple and Google stores, and details a bit more about how many apps are made outside Silicon Valley, how big a presence various apps have in China, and more. “The past twelve months have been an extraordinary period for app companies,” ACT’s Jonathan Godfrey told MT. “Small companies and startups are leading a booming app industry that is growing and creating jobs throughout all regions of the country.”

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FierceMobileHealthcare | October 26, 2014

Outdated federal regs may pose threat to mHealth innovation

As mHealth technologies develop new platforms there is one huge hurdle–outdated and confusing regulations, which pose a serious threat to innovation, according to Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association.

“Without substantial changes, new technologies that can improve the lives of patients and the capabilities of their caregivers will remain out of reach to most consumers,” Reed writes in a column at iHealthBeat.

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iHealthBeat | October 20, 2014

Government indifference must not stand in the way of mobile health innovation

By Morgan Reed:

Outdated elements of health care regulation pose a serious threat to innovation. Without substantial changes, new technologies that can improve the lives of patients and the capabilities of their caregivers will remain out of reach to most consumers.

Scores of mobile health companies have shared stories about federal regulatory requirements that fail to keep pace with advancing technology. These companies are providing critical services to patients and providers in both consumer and enterprise settings. They have become frustrated with factions within HHS that stand in the way of mobile health innovation.

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Roll Call | October 9, 2014

Is Revenue a barrier to adoption of apps targeted at poor communities?

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association disagreed, contending that people in poor communities have the same desires as others.

“They still have the basic things that they want to do,” Reed said. “They want to hang out with their friends. They want to find out the place to eat. They want to take pictures of their girlfriend.”

The issue from a venture capital perspective has always been “total addressable market,” he said.

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Dice.com | October 2, 2014

Why app developers need to understand HIPAA

That has ACT | The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 mobile app companies, pressing for updated HIPAA guidance. It notes that HHS last updated its HIPAA document “Remote Use” in 2006, while the first iPhone came out in 2007.

But the regulation isn’t necessarily focused on the type of personal information collected by your smartphone, smartwatch, or other mobile device. “You personally can, every day, check your blood pressure, check your own glucose—you can do all sorts of things with your medical data, but if you’re not giving it to a covered entity, this is not about HIPAA,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association.

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Dice.com | October 1, 2014

Do Mobile App Developers Need a Lawyer?

“What you see a lot of developers having trouble with is, ‘I want to combine data, then I want to pass that data on to a covered entity, whether it’s a hospital, an insurance company or healthcare provider.’ So figuring out how to do that in a safe and secure manner is pretty critical,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 mobile development companies.

Reed remains hopeful that the industry can adequately address the issue, especially if it means relieving developers of the need to spend lots of money on legal counsel: “I think it’s clear that leaders in the industry are trying to offer solutions that don’t require additional regulation.”

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VentureBeat | September 19, 2014

FTC’s Brill: New laws needed to protect consumer health data

Her comments came one day after two House members, Reps. Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore), sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell asking that the government work more closely with app developers to stay within health data privacy laws.

The call for more clarity on the subject originally came from The App Association, which represents some 5,000 software developers. Earlier this week, the group sent a letter to Congress asking it to push for more clarity around health privacy rules.

But, as App Association executive director Morgan Reed told me earlier this week, software companies are very excited about developing consumer health apps now. The approach Brill suggests, where the public and private sectors would work together to develop “best practices,” might take a long time.

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mHealth News | September 19, 2014

US Reps recommend 4 ways to bolster HIPAA for mHealth

“Our companies are using mobile connectivity from smartphones and tablets to give consumers greater access to healthcare providers and more control over their health information” – Morgan Reed, executive director, ACT | The App Association

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The Hill | September 19, 2014

Reps want help for health apps

The note comes after a request from ACT | The App Association, a trade group, that asked lawmakers earlier this week for help with clearer guidance.

In a statement, the group said their industry is “committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our consumers with strong privacy protections.”

“Unfortunately, we are working in a regulatory environment that has not kept pace with the rapid growth of technology,” the group added.

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VentureBeat | September 18, 2014

Congressmen ask HHS to clarify rules around health data privacy

Members of Congress Thursday sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell asking that the government work more closely with app developers to stay within health data privacy laws.

Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania) and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) penned the letter, dated September 18, after working closely with a software industry group.

The call for more clarity on the subject originally came from The App Association, which sent a letter saying as much to members of Congress earlier this week. There is a huge interest among developers to get into the health space, App Association executive director Morgan Reed told VentureBeat. But, he said, many balk because of confusion over the regulatory environment.

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InformationWeek | September 16, 2014

Simplify HIPAA, Devs tell DC

Mobile app developers want government healthcare agencies to make HIPAA regulations more flexible and current to meet consumer, technology, and provider needs.

In a letter sent Monday to Representative Tom Marino (R-PA), ACT, the association for application developers, in conjunction with AirStrip, Aptible, AngelMD, CareSync, and Ideomed, asked Department of Health and Human Services to “take a fresh look” at the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure the regulation fits today’s world, consumer requirements, and technological offerings.

“This is not pontification. This is about proactive changes to the guidance. That’s why it is so tactical and so specific. We’ve all seen those letters that are broad and beautiful and ultimately unsuccessful. We need change and we need it now,” said Morgan Reed, ACT’s executive director, in an interview. “We are actively working with other members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to get to the expected outcome. I fully expect a bipartisan effort to move this forward to affect HIPAA.”

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Mobi Health News | September 15, 2014

App developers ask Congress, HHS for HIPAA clarity on cloud, more

This morning ACT — The App Association and a number of its mobile health company members sent a letter to Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) to encourage Congress to push HHS to make HIPAA regulations clearer for mobile app developers.

“We see a huge chunk of our membership engaged on both fitness and the more health-specific side,” ACT’s Executive Director Morgan Reed told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “I would estimate about a third of developers today are looking to be a part of this [trend]. I would hazard a guess that close to 30 percent of our members are either actively pursuing this or already engaged in it.”

Reed argues that the language of the HIPAA rules is not easy for software developers to parse in terms of how it relates to their apps. The app association also writes in the letter that publishing information about HIPAA and other relevant health IT policies in the Federal Register is not the best way to disseminate this information to developers. HHS should seek other channels to publish this information, ACT argues, and it should also proactively seek out developers instead of expecting them to come to them. Given their general unfamiliarity with HIPAA privacy regulations, app developers are avoiding healthcare, Reed said.

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VentureBeat | September 15, 2014

Healthcare providers doing a sickly job of providing access to personal health records

The App Association‘s Executive Director Morgan Reed, who attended the event this morning, gave a compelling example of why patients need access to their records: Five years before a man died of cancer, he visited the ER for chest pains.

The ER doc examined the man and noted a “small mass” near his patient’s heart. But the busy doctor treated the man only for chest pains and sent him on his way.

Had this patient been able to access the doctor’s notes in his chart, he would have made sure to visit another doctor to have the mass checked out. It could have saved his life.

Another survey says that of the people who have access their personal health record online, 88 percent said they found the information to be very useful.

“It proves that consumers have an enormous hunger for better user interfaces
to interact with care providers,” Reed says.

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Reuters | August 12, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Apple prepares Healthkit rollout amid tangled regulatory web

“Dozens of major health systems that use Epic’s software will soon be able to integrate health and fitness data from HealthKit into Epic’s personal health record, called MyChart, according to a person briefed by Apple. Kaiser Permanente is currently piloting a number of mobile apps that leverage HealthKit, two people have said, and is expected to reach out to Apple to discuss a more formal partnership.

“Apple is going into this space with a data play,” said Forrester Research’s health care analyst Skip Snow. “They want to be a hub of health data.”

But some implementations with HealthKit may be a challenge due to a web of privacy and regulatory requirements and many decades-old IT systems, said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, a Washington-based organization that represents mobile app developers.

“Everybody is knocking on the door,” he said. “But I doubt that HealthKit will merge with all the existing systems.”

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InformationWeek | August 2, 2014

Microsoft privacy case: What’s at stake?

“Lost business is an obvious outcome” if the ruling is implemented, but the ramifications for international law could be much worse, according to Morgan Reed, executive director at the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). In an interview, he told us that if the US government can compel Microsoft to turn over data in an Irish data center, “European governments may say, ‘We can extract data from US citizens anywhere in the world.’ “

This sort of legal interpretation could lead to a “Balkanization of the Internet,” he said, that would threaten the Web’s unique identity. He also worries the ruling indicates that “storing data with a company in the US essentially turns you into a US citizen” in terms of the government’s reach, but not necessarily its due process protections. “Not everyone has access to the courts in the same way we do. That’s unnerving.”

Elad Yoran, CEO of cloud security vendor Vaultive, said even if businesses are concerned about government overreach, they shouldn’t resist the cloud. “If anything is true of Microsoft’s cloud, it’s that it’s very secure,” he told InformationWeek. “The problem is, even if Microsoft builds the widest moats and highest walls, when the judge says, ‘Turn the data over,’ Microsoft has to. It’s a question of control.”

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InformationWeek | July 24, 2014

FTC: In-app purchase crackdowns reflect ‘fundamental’ rules

While saying she could not comment on specific FTC actions, Brill said the fact that the agency is taking action should send the message that it will move against companies large or small. “If they fall outside normal consumer protection principles, we will take action,” she said. “There’s a fundamental principle that, before you charge the consumer, make sure you obtain consent.” Applying that principle in a high tech environment might be tricky, but it is still necessary.

One of the issues with in-app purchases has been that they make it too easy for the user to run up a big bill, even when the user is a child playing a game and the person getting the bill is a parent who didn’t specifically authorize those purchases.

Brill appeared onstage with Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, also known as The App Association. Reed agreed that managing in-app purchases properly is important, although he insisted the industry is “growing up” about how to do it better.

“We’re doing a much better job of saying, ‘Are you sure you want to buy this? Are you sure you’re good with this?'” he said, but doing it properly takes some finesse because app users get frustrated when they are bombarded with too many confirmation pop-ups.

“One of the things we’ve learned from HIPAA notification and credit card notifications is that over-notification is almost worse than no notification,” Reed said.

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Reuters | July 23, 2014

FTC: In-app purchase crackdowns reflect ‘fundamental’ rules

Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington on Wednesday, expressed concern about the way apps on smartphones and mobile devices are siphoning sensitive health data, and how some of that information may then be shared with third parties.

….

Some advocacy groups, like the Association for Competitive Technology, which represents application developers, fear that innovation could be stunted if information collection were curtailed.

“The mobile health industry needs to educate the FTC about why collecting health data can provide better health outcomes,” Morgan Reed after the panel. “If we fail to do this, the commission could take action that would devastate app developers.”

At its developer conference in June in San Francisco, Apple unveiled HealthKit, which will pull data together such as blood pressure and weight now collected by healthcare apps and devices on the iPhone and iPad.

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VentureBeat | July 23, 2014

FTC Commissioner speaks out against collecting health data

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioner Julie Brill has some serious reservations about the collection of health data by consumer apps.

She said as much at the The Hill’s Tech in Policy event in Washington DC Wednesday morning. In a nutshell, the Commissioner made clear that she considers collection and use of data to be one and the same — and she thinks there should be heavy restrictions, which would have a major impact on the future of mobile health.

…..

Brill made her comments during a round-table discussion led by the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) executive director Morgan Reed.

“There have been incredible developments in mobile technology that help students learn and improve health outcomes,” Reed said in a statement. “We need a regulatory environment that encourages innovation while protecting consumers in areas that make a real difference in our lives.”

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Washington Post | July 16, 2014

FTC changes privacy guidelines for developers of kids’ apps

The changes come just a week after the agency filed suit against Amazon, alleging that it was too easy for children to purchase items in apps without their parents’ permission. (The FTC did not allege that Amazon, whose chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos also owns The Washington Post, had violated the children’s privacy law in that complaint.)

The changes clear up some confusion for developers who have been wary about developing for kids, said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, a trade organization for app developers. “With the Commission now providing a better explanation of the regulatory landscape, we expect innovation and investment in children’s education apps to grow markedly,” he said in a statement.

Reed also said he thinks making it clear that app store operators won’t be liable for individual app makers’ mistakes will encourage those companies to make better policies for ensuring that parents have given their blessing to their children’s mobile activities.

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The Hill | July 16, 2014

FTC edits COPPA FAQ

The note comes after a request from ACT | The App Association, a trade group, that asked lawmakers earlier this week for help with clearer guidance.

The Federal Trade Commission made some edits to its FAQ page on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a 1998 law that restricts how companies can collect and share information from users under the age of 13. The agency’s updated guidance comes a year after it overhauled its COPPA last July and has app and parents groups cheering. “With the Commission now providing a better explanation of the regulatory landscape, we expect innovation and investment in children’s education apps to grow markedly,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT-The App Association. “Today’s update should help platforms, developers and parents as we create new apps that engage children.”

The update comes on the heels of major FTC charges against Apple and Amazon, claiming that the Internet giants made it too easy for children to spend their parents’ money without approval. Staffers from the app trade group have been meeting with the commission for weeks to help clarify the rules.

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CircleID | March 27, 2014

In Defense of Process: Identifying the Problem Before Seeking Solutions

By Jonathan Zuck:

You don’t necessarily need to walk before you can run, but you should probably look where you are going before you do either.

The U.S. Government’s announcement that it would transition out of its unique legacy role in ICANN set off a powder keg at ICANN, as stakeholders from every corner of the community rushed to offer their recommendations on how to fill the impending contractual vacuum with something, new, better, and appropriately reflective of the multi-stakeholder model.

These are worthwhile efforts, but before we dig more deeply into the meaty challenge of identifying solutions, it may make sense for all of us to take a big step back and come to some sort of consensus about the problem we’re trying to solve.

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Mobile Marketing Watch | March 17, 2014

What Did We Learn About Mobile Marketing at SXSW?

“Analytics are critical for companies to create the best user experience for their consumers,” says Jonathan Godfrey, director of communications for the Association for Competitive Technology.“These metrics offer a more complete understanding of how people behave, helping to identify areas where improvements can be made. Analytics are also essential in areas like education marketplace, where parents and teachers alike seek to measure performance and developmental pace. Critical data improves the user experience, but this aggregated data shouldn’t be confused with personal information. When we look to improve apps, we want to know how the greatest number of people are using them, not one specific individual.”

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The Hill | March 14, 2014

Apps Look to Simplify Privacy Notices

Last July, the Association for Competitive Technology, which represents more than 5,000 tech companies and app developers, including Microsoft, Apple and Oracle, launched the beta version of its Privacy Dashboard. That tool follows the guidelines from the Department of Commerce’s process and is available to developers to incorporate into their privacy policies.

“We are excited that others are joining the effort to build short form mobile privacy solutions based on the NTIA process,”President Jonathan Zuck said in a statement, adding that ACT’s participation in the Commerce process “was to kickstart the conversation” in the industry.

“We look forward to working with Lookout to share consumer feedback and testing results to continue improving privacy transparency.”

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IT World | February 27, 2014

‘Free’ apps may be violating EU consumer protection laws

However representatives defended the so-called “freemium” model. “Consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the freemium model because it allows them to try before they buy. It gives consumers the power to decide how much, or how little, they want to spend,” said Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT).

Consumers are often not fully aware that they are spending money because their credit cards get charged by default. According to E.U. law, app providers must get explicit consent for such charges. Industry will be asked to commit to providing solutions within a clear timeframe to ensure proper consumer protection.

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Zuck said that on-device solutions already exist. “On iOS devices, for example, App Store users are alerted to in-app purchasing features before they download an app. The device owner can also completely disable in-app purchases. All users are required to enter a password before making purchases, which is entirely within a parent’s control” he said.

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PolicyMic | February 24, 2014

Something Amazing Would Happen to America if We Passed Immigration Reform

The tech industry is leading the charge for immigration reform to make it easier for immigrants, particularly those with STEM skills, to work in the U.S. (and hopefully start businesses here too).

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Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology told Bloomberg News that it’s important to make sure that reform also makes us less dependent on a foreign STEM workforce by ensuring that funding goes toward education that could create a more balanced U.S. workforce.

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National Journal | February 21, 2014

White House on Patent Trolls: It’s Your Turn, Congress

The White House unveiled a package of executive actions Thursday designed to limit the potential for abuses of the patent system, but it chose to leverage the attention to again demand action on the issue from the quiet halls of Congress.

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But only so much can be done if Congress doesn’t send a bill to the president’s desk, said Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association. “It’s in the Senate’s shoebox, so to speak, to move the ball forward [and] get us improved legislation.”

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Associations Now | February 21, 2014

White House Patent Reform Progress Draws Association Praise

The White House is tackling the “patent troll” battle head-on.

This week, the Obama administration announced that it had made significant strides in its efforts to improve the patent system, which has gained a reputation for legal headaches and high-stakes battles in recent years. Having launched a task force to tackle U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues with high-tech patents in June, the administration renewed its call for “meaningful legislation” while highlighting executive branch initiatives.

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The Association for Competitive Technology, which represents app developers, said the initiatives will help “improve patent quality at the beginning of the process,” and the Consumer Electronics Association said the administration’s support of patent reform “gives hope that this year our nation’s businesses will hire more workers rather than more lawyers.”

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PC World | February 20, 2014

White House takes steps against patent trolls

New action is needed to combat patent trolls, added Morgan Reed, executive director of trade group the Association for Competitive Technology.

“Improvements in the way that applications are reviewed will help prevent bad patents from being awarded and used against small companies,” he said by email.

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Executive Insight | February 9, 2014

ACT’s Morgan Reed to Chair Mobile Health Policy Task Force

Association for Competitive Technology Executive Director Morgan Reed was named Chair of the Legal and Policy Task Force of mHIMSS, the leading mobile health IT organization. mHIMSS is the mobile component of the Health Information and Management Systems Society, a 52,000-member global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology.

“It’s an honor to be named Legal and Policy Task Force Chair at mHIMSS during such an exciting period of growth in mobile health technology,” said Reed. “As Chair, I plan to promote best practices and healthcare models that increase patient awareness and engagement with providers. I will use my position at ACT, the leading mobile app organization, to advocate for a legislative and regulatory environment that advances the pace of innovation in mobile health services. By increasing interoperability between mobile devices and anchored health systems, we will improve efficiency and patient outcomes.”

Innovative companies in the health IT industry voiced their approval of the appointment.

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The Hill | January 31, 2014

Senate staff hears tech groups, PTO on weak software patents

Ultimately, the participants agreed that Congress needs to do something to address the problem of low-quality patents being used against innovators, presenters said.

“There was definitely common ground on the need to deal with the poor quality patents and patent trolls,” Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, said, adding that many staffers appeared open-minded about the debate over whether to expand the existing patent review process to software patents.

“The real disagreement was about whether or not” expanding the current review process to software patents “is a viable way to do it,” Zuck, who argued against the patent review expansion, said.

Innovative companies in the health IT industry voiced their approval of the appointment.

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The Hill | January 28, 2014

Tech groups: Spying on apps ‘unacceptable’

In a statement, Morgan Reed, executive director of the Association for Competitive Technology, said government surveillance of mobile app data “undermines the trust our industry needs to succeed.”

Reed’s group represents more than 5,000 app developers and tech companies and is supported by tech giants including Microsoft, Facebook and Verizon.

Reed stressed the passive role of the app developers in these spying programs.

“The developers aren’t giving [the data] to [the intelligence agencies]. They’re taking it,” he told The Hill. “There’s absolutely nothing that the developers can do.”

The latest report on NSA surveillance highlights the need for encryption of data, Reed said. “We need the ability to protect our data.”

He called on the Obama administration to rein in the sweeping surveillance programs and collect only the necessary data.

“The administration needs to step to the fore” on this issue, he said. “’We want it all’ isn’t an adequate answer.”

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Fox 5 DC | January 24, 2014

Tech experts offer help to avoid online scams

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Jonathan Zuck of the Association of Competitive Technology says there are some key things to look for to avoid being a victim.

“The first question you should probably ask someone is for their number and say you’ll call them back,” says Zuck. “If they’re not willing to give it to you, you know immediately it’s some kind of scam.”

Another red flag is if they ask you for money to fix a problem with their software. Legitimate companies like Microsoft are not going to do that.
And never give up control of your machine.

Zuck says, “The moment they ask for access to your machine, that should be a big red flag for you and you should really know who you’re talking to.”

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