White House Big Data Initiative Seeks Public Comments On Privacy Issues

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Last week, as part of the White House’s initiative on “big data” and privacy (led by John Podesta), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a request for information seeking public input regarding broad privacy-related issues. The request defines “big data” as “datasets so large, diverse, and/or complex, that conventional technologies cannot adequately capture, store, or analyze them.” It seeks comments on a number of issues, including: (i) the public policy implications of the collection, storage, analysis, and use of big data; (ii) the types of uses of big data that could measurably improve outcomes or productivity with further government action, funding, or research, and uses of big data that raise the most public policy concerns; (iii) the technological trends or key technologies which will affect the collection, storage, analysis and use of big data, and whether any are particularly promising for safeguarding privacy; (iv) how the policy frameworks or regulations for handling big data should differ between the government and the private sector; and (v) issues raised by the use of big data across jurisdictions. Comments are due by March 31, 2014.

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