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White House Seeks Input For Deep Dive On Big Data

The White House says it will take public comments on its review of big data, which was one of the Obama Administration's responses to concerns about NSA data collection.

Privacy groups had asked the Administration to allow for public input on that review, saying that "the public should be given the opportunity to contribute to the OSTP’s review of 'Big Data and the Future of Privacy' since it is their information that is being collected and their privacy and their future that is at stake."

The White House appeared to have gotten the message. In a public notice seeking input, the Office of Science and Technology Policy has given stakeholders until March 31 to respond.

On Jan. 17, the President called for comprehensive review by "senior government officials," led by advisor John Podesta. The goal is to look at how "big data" is collected, analyzed and used and the impact on privacy, public policy and the economy. Among other things, the White House wants to know if there is a way to set international norms for managing data and how "we can continue to promote the free flow of information in ways that are consistent with both privacy and security."

The Administration has set its sights high, saying that the review is meant to produce a report that "anticipates technological trends," a tough task for a sector moving at the speed of Moore's Law, and that "frames the key questions that the collection, analysis, and use of 'big data' raise for our government and nation."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.