Join the Conversation on Big Data and Privacy

On March 3, the White House Office of Science and Technology policy (OSTP) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-hosted a thought-provoking conference about the state of the art in big-data analytics and privacy technologies. Counselor to the President John Podesta and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave keynote addresses at the event. The conference attracted some of the top technologists working on leading-edge big data projects in a range of important areas, including healthcare, genomics, education, and transportation, as well as privacy-enhancing technologies. In case you missed it, you can find the MIT webcast here.

I am also pleased to announce the second in the series of public events that OSTP is co-hosting with academic institutions across the country.  On March 17, OSTP, the Data & Society Research Institute, and New York University will host a conference to explore the social, cultural, and ethical implications of big data. You can find more information about this event on the Data & Society Research Institute website, here.

As John Podesta remarked in his keynote address at MIT, the discussion of big data should not be confined to Washington or to academia. This issue is of such great importance and involves an array of technologies already so pervasive that it demands a robust, public conversation about how we—as  a Nation and as individuals—can realize the great benefits of big data while also protecting privacy and other values. 

Toward that end, today, OSTP is releasing a Request for Information seeking public comment on the ways in which big data may impact privacy, the economy, and public policy. The full Request for Information can be found here. Comments are due by March 31, 2014, and can be sent to We hope you will join this important conversation.

Nicole Wong is U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

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