Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values

The Executive Office of the President has released Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.

Here's an excerpt:

On January 17, in a speech at the Justice Department about reforming the United States' signals intelligence practices, President Obama tasked his Counselor John Podesta with leading a comprehensive review of the impact big data technologies are having, and will have, on a range of economic, social, and government activities. Podesta was joined in this effort by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the President's Science Advisor John Holdren, the President's Economic Advisor Jeffrey Zients, and other senior government officials. The President's Council of Advisors for Science & Technology conducted a parallel report to take measure of the underlying technologies. Their findings underpin many of the technological assertions in this report.

This review was conceived as fundamentally a scoping exercise. Over 90 days, the review group engaged with academic experts, industry representatives, privacy advocates, civil rights groups, law enforcement agents, and other government agencies. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly organized three university conferences, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, and the University of California, Berkeley. The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy also issued a "Request for Information" seeking public comment on issues of big data and privacy and received more than 70 responses. In addition, the platform was used to conduct an unscientific survey of public attitudes about different uses of big data and various big data technologies. A list of the working group's activities can be found in the Appendix.

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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.