DIGITAL DEPUTY ACT: A commitment to digital ethics by Software Professionals

SF Bay ACM Chapter
SF Bay ACM Chapter
Public group

Online event

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-by Rafa Baca, US Patent Attorney, Chair of the American Bar Association's Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Committee and Big Data Committee.


6:45 Zoom networking starts, preregistration here:

7:00 streaming to YouTube SFBay ACM channel

Event Details

In this election season, we the electorate are seeing greater activity toward regulation of our personal digital information here in California with the introduction of Prop 24 in November and the enactment of the CCPA in January.

Taming the present, often crazy “wild west” atmosphere Online will require many approaches toward regulating digital privacy and advocating for ethical practices while developing software.

This lecture focuses on just one practical approach of many concerted approaches toward enforcing digital ethics in software development - The DIGITAL DEPUTY ACT which seeks to promote digital ethical practice by expanding California State Licensing of Professional Engineers to further include the Optional State Professional Licensing of Software Professionals. Similar to a Professional Civil Engineer who is required legally sign-off on a public bridge or construction project, a proposed Licensed Software Professional would be required to sign-off on critical public-facing projects as well.

This lecture will: (1) discuss the proposed Digital Deputy Act and approaches to address to the California State Legislature; (2) discuss the role of a proposed California Licensed Software Professional in terms of implementing ethical practices into software development; (3) discuss the expanded roles of a Licensed Software Professional with regards to enforcing digital ethics and other privacy laws alongside lawyers and other legal professionals, i.e. enabling Digital Deputies to practice law similar to that of Registered US Patent Office Agents.

Like Professional Civil Engineers as well as State-licensed Lawyers and Medical Physicians: ethics is first tested on upon state board entry exams as well is a major component of a professionals’ ongoing annual education credit requirements toward the yearly renewal of their state professional licenses. As the public sees a state licensed attorney or doctor as a “Seal of Approval (by the licensing State)” of a professional who upholds the highest ethical values in their professional work, it is the hope that a licensed software professional would uphold, practice and enforce digital ethics at all times to the esteem of their work collogues and employers alike.

The Digital Deputy Act promotes digital ethical practices at the very beginning of the software development process. Today, by contrast, software professionals are on the front lines when it comes to developing new online applications for consumers all over the world where regulatory officiating by lawyers, judges and elected officials, especially in terms of data privacy and digital ethics, invariably occurs AFTER the software has been extensively developed.

Speaker Bio
Rafael “Rafa” Baca,, is a practicing U.S. Patent Attorney and Software Developer in Silicon Valley with a Masters in Computer & Data Science, and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Rafa is the current national Chair of the American Bar Association's Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Committee and Big Data Committee.

Rafa Baca first became interested in decentralized computing and software development at Stanford University’s Bitcoin Edge Initiative and has never looked back. Rafa actively develops AI based software tools and built several secured online platforms for caseload management and document automation. Rafa was a USPTO Patent Examiner in the Medical Device group and has since gained experience with software, robotic and artificial intelligence systems as well as digital privacy law.