[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 42 (Tuesday, March 4, 2014)]
[Pages 12251-12252]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04660]



Government ``Big Data''; Request for Information

ACTION: Notice of Request for Information.


SUMMARY: On January 17, 2014, President Obama called for senior 
government officials to lead a comprehensive review of the ways in 
which ``big data'' will affect how Americans live and work, and the 
implications of collecting, analyzing and using such data for privacy, 
the economy, and public policy. The President requested that the review 
examine challenges confronted by both the public and private sectors; 
whether the United States 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. 
Once complete, the review will result in a report that anticipates 
future technological trends and frames the key questions that the 
collection, analysis, and use of ``big data'' raise for our government 
and nation. This notice solicits public input to inform this effort.

DATES: Responses must be received by March 31, 2014 to be considered.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include [Big Data RFI] in the 
subject line of the message.
     Fax: (202) 456-6040, Attn: Big Data Study
     Mail: Attn: Big Data Study, Office of Science and 
Technology Policy, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 1650 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20502.
    Instructions: Response to this RFI is voluntary. Responses 
exceeding 7,500 words or 15 pages will not be considered. Respondents 
need not reply to all questions; however, they should clearly indicate 
the number of each question to which they are responding. Responses to 
this RFI may be posted without change online. OSTP therefore requests 
that no business proprietary information, copyrighted information, or 
personally identifiable information be submitted in response to this 
RFI. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response 
preparation, or for the use of any information contained in the 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicole Wong, 202-456-4444, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are undergoing a revolution in the way 
that information about our purchases, our conversations, our social 
networks, our movements, and even our physical identities are 
collected, stored, analyzed, and used. The immense volume, diversity, 
and potential value of data will have profound implications for 
privacy, the economy, and public policy.
    Recognizing both the trajectory of these technologies and the 
broadening uses of such data, the President on January 17, 2014, 
charged counselor John Podesta with leading a comprehensive review of 
issues at the intersection of ``big data'' and privacy. As part of 
those efforts, the Administration, in coordination with the President's 
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, is engaging with privacy 
experts, technologists, business and government leaders and the 
academic community, to consider the implications of ``big data,'' and 
focus on how the present and future state of these technologies might 
motivate changes in our policies across a range of sectors. This review 
will explore the way that ``big data'' will affect the way we live and 
work; the relationship between government and citizens; and how public 
and private sectors can spur innovation and maximize the opportunities 
and free flow of this information while minimizing the risks to privacy 
    For purposes of this Request For Information, the phrase ``big 
data'' refers to datasets so large, diverse, and/or complex, that 
conventional technologies cannot adequately capture, store, or analyze 

Questions to the Public

    Without limiting the foregoing, commenters should consider the 
    (1) What are the public policy implications of the collection, 
storage, analysis, and use of big data? For example, do the current 
U.S. policy framework and privacy proposals for protecting consumer 
privacy and

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government use of data adequately address issues raised by big data 
    (2) What types of uses of big data could measurably improve 
outcomes or productivity with further government action, funding, or 
research? What types of uses of big data raise the most public policy 
concerns? Are there specific sectors or types of uses that should 
receive more government and/or public attention?
    (3) What technological trends or key technologies will affect the 
collection, storage, analysis and use of big data? Are there 
particularly promising technologies or new practices for safeguarding 
privacy while enabling effective uses of big data?
    (4) How should the policy frameworks or regulations for handling 
big data differ between the government and the private sector? Please 
be specific as to the type of entity and type of use (e.g., law 
enforcement, government services, commercial, academic research, etc.).
    (5) What issues are raised by the use of big data across 
jurisdictions, such as the adequacy of current international laws, 
regulations, or norms?

Ted Wackler,
Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-04660 Filed 3-3-14; 8:45 am]