What the White House needs to ask about Big Data

Posted by Justin Hesser on January 24, 2014

Big Data has had a transformative effect on the efficacy of business, so it's no wonder that the government would take note. That's exactly what's happening at the White House, which announced recently that it was forming a task force to study its effects, including those on policy, privacy and society. Not surprisingly, getting a full handle on custom web application development isn't easy. There is a lot of information floating around, and the industry moves quickly. To get the most out of this investigation, it will be important for the White House to focus on answering the right questions. 

While privacy and security are both pressing concerns, it's important that the White House is able to accurately evaluate the distinction. The former refers to how much data companies have access to and store, and the latter refers to how safe that information is kept from interlopers. In order to accurately create a policy to address both concerns, they first have to be considered separately. 

It's also worthwhile to figure out what exactly it means to be personal. With the amount of things people are now willing and able to share about themselves, the notion of what is for public consumption has shifted. If a group wants to use Big Data ethically, there needs to be a firm policy in place to learn what is fair game. 

Finally, the government has to understand that Big Data isn't just about what's happening today. It's also about where the industry is going in the future, and creating a system that is able to identify and adapt to shifts is the key to continued success.