On May 2, the White House released the much anticipated report on Big Data titled “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.”  The report focuses on not only privacy and the private sector uses of big data, but also on government uses including by law enforcement.  The report endorses reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, advancing the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights announced by the Administration in 2012, and passing national data breach legislation.

Issues highlighted for further examination include the privacy related implications and the discriminatory effects of big data, use by data brokers, and use in health care, education, and advertising.  In an attempt to assuage European concerns over US government access to storing data regarding European citizens in the U.S., the report includes an acknowledgement of the European request that Privacy Act protections should apply to non-US residents.

We will be watching carefully how and the extent to which the report and the recommendations are acted on by the Administration and Congress.