In President Obama’s address on changes to National Security Agency programs in January, he called for a “comprehensive review of big data and privacy,” to be led by long-time advisor John Podesta. The review will look at how “big data” affects the way we live and work, the relationship between government and its citizens, and how public and private sectors can spur innovation and maximize the opportunities and free flow of this information while minimizing the risks to privacy.

On Thursday afternoon, members of the data and advertising industry, including DMA, met at the White House with Mr. Podesta as part of his “big data” review effort. DMA participated in the open discussion, highlighting the value of data – in particular, economic impact findings from the Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI)’s recently-released study – and strongly reinforcing the importance of self-regulation. The meeting was designed to help Mr. Podesta’s working group better understand the practices in trends in “big data” collection and analytics, various uses within and connected to the advertising sector, and present/future challenges in the space.

Another workshop, like the one at held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last week, will take place on March 17 at New York University, in conjunction with the Data and Society Research Institute, and will focus on social and ethical implications of big data.

The expected product from Mr. Podesta’s working group is the delivery of a report to the president framing the key questions surrounding the collection and use of “big data,” including whether further governmental action is warranted.

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