Privacy / Security

President Launches Review of Big Data and Privacy

President Barack Obama said Friday that he is charging adviser John Podesta with leading a “comprehensive review of big data and privacy,” which will enlist Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and the other members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

The President said that group would “reach out to privacy experts, technologists and business leaders, and look at how the challenges inherent in big data are being confronted by both the public and private sectors; whether we can forge international norms on how to manage this data; and how we can continue to promote the free flow of information in ways that are consistent with both privacy and security.”

That came in a speech at the Justice Department on a number of changes to government data information collection that he said would end the bulk data collection program as it is currently formulated, but not end it. Those changes include more congressional oversight, collecting less information—two degrees rather than three removed from a terrorist, for example; and adding an independent advocate on the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court, which reviews government requests to collect data.

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