The New Normal: Big Data Comes of Age

On May 1, 2014, the White House released two reports addressing the public policy implications of the proliferation of big data. The first report is by the Executive Office of the President, entitled “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values,” (White House Report) and relies, in part, on the second report, prepared by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), entitled “Big Data and Privacy: A Technological Perspective” (PCAST Report).

While the Reports seem to ask more questions than they answer, taken together, they redirect the public policy narrative from “if” big data to “how” big data. Rather than trying to slow the accumulation of data or place (likely ineffective) barriers on its use in analytic endeavors, these Reports assert that we should acknowledge this “new normal” and focus on envisioning policy initiatives and legal frameworks that foster innovation, promote the exchange of information and support public policy goals, while limiting harm to individuals and society.

Please see full report below for more information.

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