On January 17, President Obama announced several critical reforms to the government’s controversial surveillance programs, including a vow that the government will no longer hold metadata on American telephone records, additional judicial review requirements before the government can search the database, and a minimization of Americans’ data collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act (FAA). He also announced a comprehensive review of big data and privacy to be run through the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to examine challenges confronted by both the public and private sectors; whether the United States can forge international norms on how to manage this data; and how we can continue to promote the free flow of information in ways that are consistent with both privacy and security. But the president left one important voice out of the mix—the public.
Below, 25 privacy and civil liberties group sent a letter to OSTP urging a public “Request for Information” so that the review incorporates the concerns and opinions of those whose data may be collected in bulk as a result of their engagement with technology.
UPDATE: OSTP granted the request and posted this Notice for Information with instructions on how to post comments. All comments must be received by March 31, 2014.