Civic Eagle Joined The Conversation On Regulation And Creating Equitable Tech Policies


  • Civic Eagle is on a mission to provide equity solutions tech policy teams can follow.
  • Companies like Amazon and Microsoft have flexible yet unspecified policies for the workplace and the technology they use.
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) public forum illustrates the importance of more Black professionals in science and technology fields. 

Wintana Melekin, Customer Solutions Manager at Civic Eagle, a technology service promoting democracy, recently spoke on the company’s policy engagement and creation for a webinar with Ashley Robinson, Deputy State Director of America Votes Georgia, a coordination hub for advancing votes. The two professionals explored how an organization can take action in equity and racial justice. 

“There are real authentic conversations that need to be had,” Robinson said during the webinar. “Our consumers are so much more than what their favorite brands are because they also have real issues.”

The webinar is one of the resources Civic Eagle provides for easier access to information affecting Black communities. Enview, Civic Eagle’s policy tracking platform, gives advocacy and government affairs teams legislative technology. Robinson enjoys sharing and highlighting legislation allowing teams to collaborate in real-time.

Melekin and Robinson discuss how companies can close the gap on unknown issues. Robinson believes organizations and companies have shared interests whether they like it or not. She suggests to companies that they have to talk to lobbyists. 

Some companies and organizations have advocated for tech companies to implement more robust policies before and during the pandemic.

Black Lives Matter has moved social justice forward in person and on social media. The hashtag BlackLivesMatter was used nearly 30 million times on Twitter from its first use in 2013, according to a Pew Research report. The hashtag was used in correlation to the Black community and race discrimination, violent acts and other impacts on the community. 

The 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science’s AAAS Science and Technology public forum emphasizes diversity and inclusion. Speakers offered guidance on the systemic approaches institutions can take to make the scientific enterprise a welcome space for scientists of color. There were conversations around how diversity can strengthen innovation and problem-solving. Next year’s forum will focus on previous years of discussion and current issues.

A 2017 Techandpublicgood report suggests solution areas to policy regulation are stacked up against emerging technology. The report outlines The Stanford Business School’s new Policy Innovation Initiative. The report points out that tech companies should stop lobbying and reach out to policymakers to create lasting change in the tech industry. Policy teams within tech companies can also consider tying solid benefits to emerging technology for more jobs and retraining displaced workers. 

Increasingly, companies and their leaders are calling for reforms in social justice, but big tech companies have indefinite policy reforms. 

Amazon is leaving some policy choices up to Director level workers. This decision provides more flexibility but comes at the same time Amazon is trying to fill 40,000 corporate and tech jobs. Other companies like Microsoft are following Amazon’s lead of policy creation by leaving its return to work date open-ended. As a result of the pandemic, the two tech giants are using experiential policies that are subject to change.

Law firms are increasingly using Microsoft Teams since the pandemic, according to a report. Using the software for messages has created Teams-specific data collection policies uncommon to some law firms, according to the 2021 LTN Law Firm Tech Survey. The survey notes that 58 percent of respondents said they did not have an official policy for collecting non-email sources of electronic data from Microsoft Teams. 

The report explains that there are no regulatory policies for Teams, but some law firms are creating their own from pre-established governances. Microsoft Teams’ messages and chat history are held in Exchange and OneDrive. Before using Teams, law firms were managing data held in Exchange and SharePoint.

While many companies are slowly creating more policies for emerging tech, we have a long have to go in regulation. Policy teams can implement more conversations with customers and corporate superiors to better maintain societal and company issues.

Cheri Pruitt-Bonner

Cheri is an Atlanta-based journalist who strives to serve the community by bringing nuance to each story. She has previously written about politics and government affairs for Georgia State University's student media.