In 2014, President Obama tasked John Podesta to lead a working group on Big Data. The first report provided a brief on data trends, with a focus on privacy concerns in particular Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.. The second report was published in May 2016 Big Data: A Report on Algorithmic Systems, Opportunities and Civil ... This latest publication is notable with changes in perspective and tone.
The first report recognized Big Data as the combination of new, large sources and the supporting technologies. That first reaction focused on public policy concerns for privacy in multiple dimensions. The second report, by contrast, shifts attention from data collection to processing. Big Data technologies are no longer treated as emerging, to be anticipated. They are here.
Between these reports, in February 2015, the White House named DJ Patil as its first Chief Data Scientist. Dr. Patil is one of three signatures on this second report which takes a new focus on Big Data's analytic impacts. For public policy, the concern moves from privacy to fairness. The report illustrates four areas: credit, employment, higher education and criminal justice. Analytical bias in each area can translates to discrimination in a variety of forms.
Good reading regardless of your industry.