Privacy / Security

Experts Say White House Privacy Survey Won't Yield Meaningful Answers

A White House survey that asks consumers for their opinion about big data and privacy may yield a few political talking points but not much meaningful or useful data, experts say.

The survey popped up Friday on the White House’s Web page complete with a video message from John Podesta, counselor to the president. In mid-January, when President Obama spoke about the changes that needed to be made for national security, he also gave Podesta the daunting task of conducting a 90-day review of big data and privacy beyond national security to include commercial uses as well.

Since then, Podesta has held meetings with a number of stakeholders in the debate, including the advertising community and, most recently, tech CEOs.

“We know it’s a complicated issue,” Podesta says in the video. “If you’re watching this video, I know you’re interacting with technology all the time … We’d like to hear from you. Which technologies or use of data is most transforming your day-to-day life? Which technologies or use of data give you pause?”

The survey asks three broad questions: “How much do you trust [a list of] institutions with your data? How much do these types of data [i.e., audio, location] collection concern you? How much do the following data practices [i.e., collection, storage] concern you?”

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