Alan McQuinn

Alan McQuinn
Senior Policy Analyst
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Phone: 
202-524-5549

Alan McQuinn is a senior policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and Internet policy, such as cybersecurity, privacy, blockchain, fintech, e-government, Internet governance, intellectual property, and aerospace. He was previously a telecommunications fellow for Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA). McQuinn graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in public relations and political communications and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. 

Recent Publications

June 21, 2019

While there is a lot of misinformation circling about the Libra system, the goals of an open, general-purpose financial system are admirable. Policymakers should support these systems, whether they are facilitated by tech companies like Facebook, cryptocurrency businesses, banks, or any other organization.

April 30, 2019

Policymakers can and should do more to support blockchain innovation and adoption, such as ensuring regulations are targeted and flexible, so as to encourage blockchain experimentation.

March 14, 2019

Shouldn’t there be a law to make internet companies pay us for all the data they collect? It’s one of those appealing-at-first ideas that is gaining traction — echoed most recently by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who called for a “data dividend” in his first State of the State address. But as Daniel Castro and Alan McQuinn write for the Sacramento Bee, the answer is no.

January 16, 2019

If countries do not show proper restraint, they can easily sabotage the global Internet by imposing unreasonable obligations on companies and setting up scenarios where companies are forced into a no-win situation of having to comply with conflicting laws.

January 14, 2019

Congress should repeal and replace existing federal privacy laws with a common set of protections. We need comprehensive data privacy legislation that preempts state laws, improves transparency requirements, strengthens enforcement, and establishes a clear set of data privacy rights for Americans based on the sensitivity of the data and the context in which it is collected.

December 19, 2018

The United States and likeminded countries should not repeat Australia’s mistakes and should instead embrace strong encryption—not try to cripple it.

October 25, 2018

In an explainer for RealClearPolicy, Alan McQuinn defines data privacy, explains the U.S. approach to data privacy in the private sector, and outlines policy goals Congress should consider.

October 12, 2018

Congress has taken proactive steps for both drones and supersonic flight with the FAA Reauthorization Act, enabling these U.S. industries to remain competitive and aerospace innovation to proceed apace writes Alan McQuinn in Innovation Files.

September 12, 2018

The lesson for EU policymakers is clear: do not get seduced by the idea that stringent privacy regulation is a shortcut for digital growth. Enacting even stricter data protection rules, such as the pending ePrivacy Regulation, will come with costs that will hurt not only the EU digital ecosystem but also EU digital consumers.

September 9, 2018

As Nigel Cory and Alan McQuinn write in The Hill, the U.S. government should use CLOUD Act agreements to push back on foreign practices that force U.S. firms to store data locally.

August 22, 2018

Americans have made their opinion clear: their privacy concerns are decreasing even without additional privacy laws. The question remains: will policymakers listen?

August 16, 2018

EU policymakers created the GDPR to protect an individual’s right to privacy—a right that they see worth protecting at any cost. However, its creators did nothing to prevent these costs from being levied on non-Europeans. Policymakers around the world should step in to ensure that if Europe wants privacy, it must pay its own bill.

Recent Events and Presentations

April 30, 2019

While the Internet has enabled many types of transactions to become digital, many of these records are still maintained by a centralized authority, such as a bank or government agency.

December 3, 2018

From flying taxis to hypersonic and suborbital flights, civil aviation companies are studying frontiers that were once reserved for science fiction. But, realizing the next wave of aviation innovation will require both the public and private sector to work together. Join ITIF for an expert panel discussion on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the polices needed to protect the safety of the national aerospace system without inhibiting innovation.

September 25, 2018

Alan McQuinn spoke on a panel on supersonic flight at the “Of Rockets and Robotics: The Regulation of Emerging Aerial Technology” event hosted by the Cato Institute. The event explored the market and policy barriers to the return of supersonic flight in the United States.

March 8, 2017

In a new report, ITIF evaluates nearly 300 of the most popular federal websites, ranks them across a variety of metrics including performance, security, design, and makes recommendations for how the federal government can improve. Join ITIF for a presentation of the report’s findings as well as a panel discussion on how the new administration can improve the federal digital services.

October 18, 2016

Please join ITIF for the release of a new report that will provide an overview of the innovations in financial technology, their impact on consumers and businesses, and the principles that should guide policymakers as they seek to encourage continued innovation in this sector. Following a presentation of the report, a panel of experts will discuss specific policy priorities and opportunities that Congress and the administration should consider to increase innovation in financial services that will better serve consumers, businesses, and investors.