In conjunction with the White House’s comprehensive review of big-data and privacy issues that resulted in a 79-page report, last week the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”) released a parallel big-data report. The White House report is more general and contains six major policy recommendations, whereas the PCAST report, authored by an outside panel of counselors, was designed to provide a technical evaluation by examining the practical specifics of how big data and related technologies are actually used. Many observations and recommendations in the PCAST report are consistent with those presented in the White House report. The PCAST report, however, has been praised for its candor and for appearing to be more clear, even bold, in advocating particular positions on key issues. For example, in recommending a transition away from “notice and consent” — described in the White House report as a “central pillar” of the U.S. privacy legal system — and towards a “use” framework, the PCAST report states: “Only in some fantasy world do users actually read these notices and understand their implications before clicking to indicate their consent.”Continue Reading Another Big Data Report, From the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (“PCAST”)
Today the White House released its big data and privacy report, entitled “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.” The report is the result of a three-month review, which was led by White House counselor John Podesta and was first announced as part of the President’s January speech on NSA reform. It primarily outlines the…
In his State of the Union message on Tuesday, President Obama announced that he had signed an Executive Order addressing the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. President Obama emphasized that in the face of threats to corporate secrets, the power grid, and financial institutions, among others, “We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.”
The Executive Order follows legislative efforts in the last Congress to pass comprehensive cybersecurity bills. After the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414) failed to pass in August 2012, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan mentioned in an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations that the President was considering issuing an Executive Order to implement portions of the cybersecurity legislation. In the subsequent months, the White House sought industry input on the Order.
The Order has two main components: increasing information sharing from the government to the private sector and establishing a Cybersecurity Framework to buttress the security of critical infrastructure. Continue Reading President Obama Issues Cybersecurity Executive Order