The National Retail Federation has launched a new Center for Digital Risk & Innovation, aimed at engagement and advocacy on technology issues that have significant implications for the retail industry. The initial areas of focus for the Center will include cybersecurity, digital fraud prevention and artificial intelligence and machine learning.
NRF’s VP of Retail Technology and Cybersecurity Christian Becker will serve as Executive Director for the Center, which will be governed by an external advisory board comprised of senior-level retail technology executives, industry partners, academics and other subject matter experts. Additionally, the group will leverage existing activities from the NRF’s CIO Council, IT Security Council, Fraud Prevention Professionals Working Group and AI Working Group.
“The NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation will enhance our ability to shape the public debate on technology issues important to the retail community,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF in a statement. “Its work will ensure that retailers can remain innovative, competitive and secure in serving their customers as the technology landscape continues to evolve.”
AI in particular has been an area of concern for both policymakers and professionals in recent months, as advances in generative AI have raised questions around the future of work and content ownership in almost every industry. The use of AI is a central sticking point in the ongoing writers and actors strikes in Hollywood, and Washington has been making moves to put regulation in place around the use of the technology. Most recently, the White House secured voluntary commitments from some of the biggest names in AI — including Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI — to ensure the “safe, secure and transparent” development of AI technologies.
“This marks an important step to further amplify the voice of the retail industry in policy debates on key technology issues,” said Stephanie Martz, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel at NRF in a statement. “The recommendations and best practices developed through the NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation will serve retailers of all sizes as they navigate investing in technology as a competitive advantage.”