This Week: DATA Act One, Scene One

The United States government had data on the mind this week. The House passed the DATA Act and sent it to the White House for final approval. President Obama already announced that he plans on signing the bill. The Act has been applauded on many sides and will mark the way for great increases in government transparency. The Data Transparency Coalition broke the DATA Act down into seven areas that will see the largest changes and what those changes will be.


While you may have missed the Data Transparency Summit which celebrated the progress made by the DATA Act, you can still attend What is the DATA Act all about anyway? hosted at the OpenGovHub in Washington DC on May 12.

Additionally, the White House released the report Big Data: Seizing Opportunities and Preserving Values. While you can check out 7 Things to Know About the White House Big Data Report, most people seem to be focusing on one thing - the call for protecting citizen’s web privacy. Some feel the report focuses too much on a gloomy outlook, while still applauding many of the recommendations in the report.

At the same time, there are many who share some of the same fears around protecting citizen data. Take, for example, the recent anecdote about fake “smart toilets” that analyze your waste to detect one’s gender, drug and alcohol levels, pregnancy status, STI status, etc. Although Quantified Toilets isn’t a real company, it seems possible and sparks a lot of questions around privacy.

The truth is big data has huge potential. Some are even asking “Can Big data Stop Wars Before They Happen?” Get involved in all the Big Data goodness this week during the global Big Data Week. What questions do you have that might be answered with big and open data?

Taryn Davis is a Project Manager at Development Gateway. Email her your tips to get a shout-out in next week's post.

Tags: DATA ActBig DataUS governmentHouse of RepresentativesWhite HousePresident ObamaData Transparency