Navigating the Incoherence of Big Data Reform Proposals
6 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2014 Last revised: 21 Dec 2014
Date Written: November 7, 2014
From 2012-14 various branches of the federal government published five major reports that either deal generally with modern challenges to privacy or specifically address the privacy threats of big data. All five displayed serious intent and were based on reasonably rigorous analysis. While these reports, to lesser and greater extents, all expressed the necessity for legislative or regulatory intervention, their recommendations are diverse. It may be that this lack of coherence is one of the reasons why no legislation has been proffered. In this essay I describe the various proposals and offer a critical synthesis, arguing that Congress needs to take up the 2012 White House FIPPS proposals and ensure that data subjects have more control over what data is collected and that the context for any collection are respected.
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