A big data review carried out by the United States government illustrating the White House’s stance on the effect of large amounts of data on American citizens finding itself in the hands of private companies will be released soon, reports the Associated Press on Sunday.

White House counselor John Podesta stated that one of the focal points of the review will be identifying in what ways consumers could be disadvantaged when companies are in possession of large amounts of sensitive information on individuals.  He names housing and employment as areas of concern.  Exploitation of certain customer groups is also a concern, specifically in the health and financial sectors.

The study, which Podesta sees as a framework of sorts for future data policy and regulation, has already ignited discussion about the private sector use of data.  Privacy advocates feel that businesses collecting, buying, and selling data can lead to companies having a large amount of highly sensitive information on an individual which can lead to profiteering, and have long supported the push for more stringent regulation.

“With the rapidity of the way technology changes, it’s going to be hard to imagine what it’s going to look like a generation from now,” Podesta told the AP. “But at least we can look out over the horizon and say, `Here are the trends. What do we anticipate the likely policy issues that it raises?’”  While the White House has said they do not plan on creating an entirely new policy on data related issues, the study might still revive the debate about tighter regulation.



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(Image Credit:  Shelah)

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