Government launches study to explore implications of big data

Big data has far-reaching capabilities, and as more organizations explore these possibilities, the need for safety and security will likely only increase. To determine just what to expect from this growing sector of information technology, the federal government is setting out to explore the impact big data will have on privacy.

Aiding the development of future privacy policies
InformationWeek reported that the 90-day study will be conducted to give policymakers better insight into the changing landscape of big data and how it will affect the privacy of both businesses and individuals. Researchers will examine a slew of previously collected information and speak with experts across the industry. They will then be able to use the results to shape future policies regarding these issues. John Podesta, a White House counselor, recently spoke at a big data workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sharing the importance of the study and how it will prove useful for the future of IT. 

"What the president wants to explore, in part, is whether our existing privacy framework can accommodate these changes, or if there are new avenues for policy that we need to consider," Podesta said in a speech given at MIT, as reported by The New York Times.

Improving technology without sacrificing individual privacy
The study will look at a number of different factors surrounding big data and privacy. According to InformationWeek, this research includes such key points as determining the way in which new technology can be used to protect consumer data and anticipating unexpected issues that may arise with big data analytics. That's not all the study results will be used for, either. Researchers and analysts are planning to analyze the results of this study to find new methods of maximizing the flow of information in order to facilitate innovation, the Times stated. At the same time, they'll be focusing on strategies that will reduce the risk to individual privacy.

This study is another step up for big data analysis, pushing the IT sector in the right direction. The results of this study could help create the framework for big data's future, making it easier for companies to better utilize the data they collect. Computer Sciences Corporation projected that 2014 would be the beginning of the business world's foray into the many potential applications of big data, which will create an even greater need for new and accurate federal policies to protect the consumer along the way.

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