Federal Inquiry on Big Data and Privacy

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Elena Malykhina of InformationWeek has an excellent article on the federal governments’ efforts to explore big data and privacy. The White House’s counselor, John Podesta, is spearheading a three-month study to explore big data and privacy issues – and in his statement to the press – he indicated that this is the time to examine big data analytics and other data-mining techniques that could help define future policies.

“The study is fundamentally a scoping exercise. We want to examine the administration’s consumer privacy blueprint and take a harder look at existing policies,” said Podesta at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 3-day workshop on big data issues.

“The MIT workshop is the first in a series of events to be hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as part of a comprehensive review of big data and privacy, which the president launched in January. The events focus on the collection, analysis, and use of big data for privacy, the economy, and public policy. Insights collected during the events will feed into the study being conducted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Those results will be used to shape a plan of action, such as identifying future technological trends and deciding whether further government action is required.” (InformationWeek, 2014)

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