NTIA Advances Privacy Review, Requests Feedback From Public

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By Alexei Alexis  

June 6 — The National Telecommunications and Information Administration published a notice in the Federal Register June 6 seeking comment on the impact of “big data” on a consumer privacy rights proposal unveiled by the White House in 2012.

The NTIA, a division of the Department of Commerce, has asked for feedback by Aug. 6 on whether any specific elements of the proposal should be clarified or modified to better accommodate big data benefits or risks, among other questions.

The action follows a recent White House report calling for the Commerce Department to draft legislative language for the administration's “privacy bill of rights” for consumers, after exploring big data issues through a public comment process. NTIA announced June 4 that it was planning to publish a request for comment in the Federal Register.

FTC Powers

The proposed privacy bill of rights, as outlined in a 2012 White House paper, would give the Federal Trade Commission new authority to require U.S. businesses to abide by so-called fair information practice principles, such as being transparent about their data-collection practices and giving consumers the right to exercise control over their personal information.

The administration's big-data report said that some privacy experts believe that fair information practice principles are flexible enough to support new and emerging uses of information, including big data, while others, especially technologists, are less sure.

The report defined big data as “large, diverse, complex, longitudinal, and/or distributed datasets generated from instruments, sensors, Internet transactions, email, video, click streams, and/or all other digital sources available today and in the future.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexei Alexis in Washington at aalexis@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at hrothman@bna.com

The Federal Register notice can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-06/pdf/2014-13195.pdf.