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White House Requests Public Comment on Big Data and Privacy

White House
image © Tom Lohdan

In February 2014, ARL joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and 23 other organizations in a letter (PDF) requesting that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) solicit public comments regarding the White House review of “Big Data and the Future of Privacy.” On March 4, OSTP announced a public comment period that will end on March 31. OSTP is asking for comment on the following questions:

  1. What are the public policy implications of the collection, storage, analysis, and use of big data? For example, do the current US policy framework and privacy proposals for protecting consumer privacy and government use of data adequately address issues raised by big data analytics?
  2. What types of uses of big data could measurably improve outcomes or productivity with further government action, funding, or research? What types of uses of big data raise the most public policy concerns? Are there specific sectors or types of uses that should receive more government and/or public attention?
  3. What technological trends or key technologies will affect the collection, storage, analysis and use of big data? Are there particularly promising technologies or new practices for safeguarding privacy while enabling effective uses of big data?
  4. How should the policy frameworks or regulations for handling big data differ between the government and the private sector? Please be specific as to the type of entity and type of use (e.g., law enforcement, government services, commercial, academic research, etc.).
  5. What issues are raised by the use of big data across jurisdictions, such as the adequacy of current international laws, regulations, or norms?

For more details and instructions on submitting comments, see the OSTP Notice of Request for Information (PDF).

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.