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White House to co-host workshop at MIT on ‘big data’ and privacy

March 3 event convenes academics, representatives of industry, and top government officials to discuss big data and the role of technology in protecting privacy.
February 24, 2014

As part of President Barack Obama’s call for a review of privacy issues in the context of increased digital information, MIT and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will co-host a daylong workshop on “big data” and privacy March 3 at MIT.

The event, “Big Data and Privacy: Advancing the State of the Art in Technology and Practice,” will feature keynote addresses from White House Counselor John Podesta and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, as well as panels focused on big data technologies and a roundtable discussion with leaders from government, academia, and industry.

Co-organized by the MIT Big Data Initiative at CSAIL and the MIT Information Policy Project, the workshop is part of a series of public events being held over the next several weeks to hear from technologists, business leaders, civil society, and the academic community as part of a broad review of big data being led by Podesta.

The workshop comes on the heels of several other privacy-related programs from the MIT Big Data Initiative at CSAIL, including an academic workshop last June and a working group announced in November as part of a recent White House event called, “Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships.”

“Big data has opened up so many possibilities for research, innovation, and education, while also demonstrating how important it is to use these technologies appropriately and responsibly,” says Daniel Weitzner, director of CSAIL’s Decentralized Information Group and former deputy chief technology officer for Internet policy in the White House. “There’s a lot of complexity to handling these issues, and our faculty look forward to exploring them at the workshop.”

“Big Data and Privacy” will take place next Monday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Wong Auditorium (E51-115) and is open to the public, with registration. A full agenda is available on the event site.

by Adam Conner-Simons, CSAIL