The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A new White House report on privacy and data collection says the mass collection of information is “saving lives” but calls for additional safeguards in how personal information is stored and collected.

The report, issued Thursday, is the result of a three-month review led by White House adviser John Podesta and administration officials. President Barack Obama called for the assessment of so-called “big data” amid pressure over revelations about U.S. spy agencies collecting data on phone records.

The review did not focus on collecting data for intelligence, however, opting instead to review policies in other government agencies, the private sector and education.

“As more data is collected, analyzed, and stored on both public and private systems, we must be vigilant in ensuring that balance is maintained between government and citizens, and revise our laws accordingly,” the report said.

The document praises the use of big data to assist in disaster recovery and in medicine, and describes the expansion of analytics as a potential economic boon to the United States.

But it also outlines six policy recommendations to the president, including reviving the push for a consumer privacy bill of rights that would set standards for how personal information is used.

The report also calls for the passage of a cybersecurity bill that would set a national standard for handling a data “breach.”

The report endorses the notion of extending privacy protections to non-U.S. citizens and argues that information collected on students in schools should be used only for educational purposes. It also called for amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to ensure online content has the same legal protections as other information.

The report also warned against discrimination that can result when data are mishandled and urged the federal government to guard against cases when information is used to categorize or sort citizens into groups.

“We must prevent new modes of discrimination that some uses of big data may enable, particularly with regard to longstanding civil rights protections in housing, employment and credit,” according to a synopsis of the report.

The White House said the Commerce Department would take the lead on crafting legislation and policy related to the issues.

© / Indranil Mukherjee

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Tyler Matzek

So the World Series has come around again, evoking the usual mixed feelings. For one thing, I don't have a team this year, although I'll be pulling for Atlanta in honor of my friend Lauren, a serious Braves fan I pretty much talked into baseball when she was my student. As a sometime athlete and a serious reader with a taste for complex narratives, she was a natural.

Also, the Houston Astros cheated. Bigtime. Cunning and crude, the team's 2017 electronic sign-stealing, trashcan-banging scheme tipping hitters to incoming pitches could have been designed by Vladimir Putin. It wouldn't have bothered me if several Astros had been banished from baseball like Pete Rose, whose compulsive gambling hurt mainly himself.

Keep reading... Show less

Mark Meadows

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}