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White House report embraces big data and new privacy rules

Published on May 2, 2014 5:05 AM
 
People stand in front of a big data analytics logo at the booth of IBM during preparations for the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, on March 9, 2014. A study ordered by United States President Barack Obama and released May 1, 2014, concludes that analysis of big data can help society in many ways, from improving health care to spurring economic growth. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A study ordered by US President Barack Obama and released Thursday concludes that analysis of "big data" can help society in many ways, from improving health care to spurring economic growth.

But the report also said the vast expansion of computer analytics of large data banks creates new threats to privacy, and recommended updated rules and laws to protect stored information.

"The big data revolution presents incredible opportunities in virtually every sector of the economy and every corner of society," said John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff who led the Big Data and Privacy Working Group.

Podesta, in a blog post accompanying the report, said "big data is saving lives" by helping analyse trends in disease, infection and caring for babies born prematurely, among other things.

 
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