Comments to NTIA on Big Data and Consumer Privacy

CDT has submitted comments to the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for their review of big data and consumer privacy. CDT is supportive of NTIA’s continued examination of the implications of “big data” upon consumer privacy. We plan to work with NTIA and other government agencies on developing consumer-centric solutions in the big data context.

In our comment, we responded to specific questions posed by NTIA, including:

  • How can the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which is based on the Fair Information Practice Principles, support the innovations of big data while at the same time responding to its risks?
  • Should any of the specific elements of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights be clarified or modified to accommodate the benefits of big data? Should any of those elements be modified to address the risks posed by big data?
  • Should a responsible use framework, as articulated in Chapter 5 of the Big Data Report, be used to address some of the challenges posed by big data? If so, how might that framework be embraced within the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights?
  • What mechanisms should be used to address the practical limits to the “notice and consent” model noted in the Big Data Report? How can the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights’ “individual control” and “respect for context” principles be applied to big data? Should they be? How is the notice and consent model impacted by recent advanced concerning “just in time” notices?
  • Can accountability mechanisms play a useful role in promoting socially beneficial uses of big data while safeguarding privacy?
  • Would the development of a framework for privacy risk management be an effective mechanism for addressing the challenges of big data?



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