(TheRegReview) Agile and adaptive regulatory strategies are needed to manage the risks of fast-approaching quantum computers without thwarting their potential benefits.
As the CEO of leading quantum technology firm Rigetti noted, practical quantum devices will create new risks and could lead to unanticipated policy challenges. Practical quantum computers could also rip through current cybersecurity infrastructure. The abilities of these emerging technologies create significant national security concerns, both in the United States and for other countries investing heavily in quantum technologies, such as China. Quantum cyberattacks could also put private or sensitive information at risk or expose corporate intellectual property and trade secrets.
Three strategies can help prepare for the coming wave of quantum computers without undermining innovation, drawing on technical standards and codes of conduct as regulatory tools.
1) Private standards will be useful for responding to quantum concerns. These voluntary, technical standards can give government and industry a common language to speak by creating agreed-upon definitions and ways of measuring quantum computers’ performance capabilities.
2) The quantum computing industry itself can be proactive even without government taking the lead.
3) The industry should work to support the development of standards for another technology intended to defend from quantum cyberattacks, called post-quantum cryptography.
Responding to these challenges with public and private standards and codes of conduct should promote responsibility, security, and growth in the development of emerging quantum technologies.