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Privacy & Data

AP: White House says big data could be used to discriminate against Americans

CDT President Nuala O’Connor speaks with AP reporter Eileen Sullivan on the need for transparency in the way companies use big data, which may necessitate the update of some laws. 

WASHINGTON — A White House review of how the government and private sector use large sets of data has found that such information could be used to discriminate against Americans on issues such as housing and employment even as it makes their lives easier in many ways.

“Big data” is everywhere.

It allows mapping apps to ping cellphones anonymously and determine, in real time, what roads are the most congested. But it also can be used to target economically vulnerable people.

Federal laws have not kept up with the rapid development of technology in a way that would shield people from discrimination.

The review, expected to be released within the next week, is the Obama administration’s first attempt at addressing the vast landscape of challenges, beyond national security and consumer privacy, posed by technological advancements.

Read the full AP story here.