AGTech Forum

The AGTech Forum provides opportunities for collaborative engagement among state attorneys general, technology companies, academics, and other stakeholders about innovation, corporate citizenship, and regulation.

Much conversation around technology policy and regulation of emerging technologies focuses on federal legislation and the role of federal administrative bodies. However, state actors play a significant and increasingly important role in establishing rules of the road for technology businesses. Some of the most important, complex, and cutting-edge questions of our day – including questions about privacy and administration of criminal justice – are primarily the domain of local and state law. State attorneys general may be the first government actors to face decisions about regulation and enforcement on innovative business models that pose novel legal questions about application of existing legal authorities. Their determinations about enforcement priorities and interpretation of existing state statutes can have long-lasting impacts on everything from consumer protection to digital civil liberties. Yet, despite the importance of state AGs, they generally do not have the benefit of the classic suite of regulatory tools at the disposal of federal administrative agencies, which include soliciting public comments while assessing regulatory proposals and managing mechanisms for promulgating rules.

The AGTech Forum provides state attorneys general with opportunities to engage a diverse cohort of those innovators involved in developing new technologies, and tech developers with a chance to understand the how policymakers and enforcers approach their responsibilities. The Berkman Klein Center brings insights from academic and other constituencies to ensure that all sides benefit from dialogue on neutral ground.

Through convenings and other events geared toward facilitating dialogue and promoting efficient and effective public-private engagement on cutting-edge technologies, the Forum tackles issues relating to privacy, cybersecurity, and – as part of the Center’s efforts with respect to Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Governance – AI and algorithms.

The AGTech Forum is led by Berkman Klein Center Faculty Co-Director and Harvard Law School Clinical Professor Christopher Bavitz. James Tierney and Travis LeBlanc support the initiative in advisory roles. Mr. Tierney is Director of the State Attorney General Clinic at Harvard Law School and former Attorney General of Maine. Mr. LeBlanc, a 2017-18 Berkman Klein Center Affiliate, is a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP who previously served in the California Attorney General’s Office and as Chief of Enforcement at the Federal Communications Commission.

For more information, contact Kira Hessekiel (khessekiel@cyber.harvard.edu).

Last updated

20 Aug 2017