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    White House Big Data Group Issues Recommendations on Privacy

    Presidential adviser John Podesta, who also counseled President Clinton and founded the Center for American Progress, announced in January that he would “lead a comprehensive review of the way that ‘big data‘ will affect the way we live and work; the relationship between government and citizens; and how public and private sectors can spur innovation and maximize the opportunities and free flow of this information while minimizing the risks to privacy.” Today, Podesta and the working group on big data released a report of recommendations to President Obama, “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values” (WH pdf; archive pdf). Here’s the fact sheet released along with the report. Here’s a summary of the recommendations:

    • Advance the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights because consumers deserve clear, understandable, reasonable standards for how their personal information is used in the big data era.
    • Pass National Data Breach Legislation that provides for a single national data breach standard, along the lines of the Administration’s 2011 Cybersecurity legislative proposal.
    • Extend Privacy Protections to non-U.S. Persons because privacy is a worldwide value that should be reflected in how the federal government handles personally identifiable information from non-U.S. citizens.
    • Ensure Data Collected on Students in School is used for Educational Purposes to drive better learning outcomes while protecting students against their data being shared or used inappropriately.
    • Expand Technical Expertise to Stop Discrimination because the federal government should build the technical expertise to be able to identify practices and outcomes facilitated by big data analytics that have a discriminatory impact on protected classes.
    • Amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to ensure the standard of protection for online, digital content is consistent with that afforded in the physical world—including by removing archaic distinctions between email left unread or over a certain age.

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