The White House is developing a national strategy to increase data collection as privacy technology improves

The US government wants to collect, analyze and share more data about Americans, especially as new technologies and procedures offer the ability to do so without compromising the privacy of citizens, and is developing a national strategy to align policies and regulations on this objective.

The Biden administration is developing a national strategy on “privacy-preserving data sharing and analytics,” according to a request for information on the advancement of privacy-enhancing technologies expected to be published Thursday in the Federal Register.

The pending strategy comes as governments and private sector companies continue to collect more data through users’ connected devices (computers, smartphones, TVs, vehicles, etc.) with few regulations on how that data is stored. collected, stored and shared (or sold).

“The national strategy will outline a vision for responsibly harnessing privacy-preserving data sharing and analytics for the benefit of individuals and society,” officials from the Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote in the request. information. “It will also propose actions ranging from investments in research, to training and education initiatives, to developing the standards, policies and regulations needed to achieve this vision.”

The advisory cites several critical areas where better data sharing could accelerate important innovations, including “health care, climate change, financial crime, human trafficking and pandemic response.”

While comprehensive and diverse datasets can help researchers in all of these areas, this need must be balanced with protecting the privacy of the people from whom that data comes. Clinicians developing new treatment methods are cited as an example, as “some medical researchers may encounter difficulties when trying to access medical records, as these records reveal health information that can identify individual patients, which implies the confidentiality and safety of these patients. as well as medical confidentiality law.

These issues may be compounded in the public sector, as the federal government attempts to distinguish between the use of data to improve government efficiency and the delivery of benefits – in line with the federal data strategy – and respect for the privacy of its citizens.

The advisory offers some examples of technologies that enable data sharing while anonymizing the sources of that data: secure multiparty computation, homomorphic encryption, zero-knowledge proofs, federated learning, secure enclaves, differential privacy, and tools for generating synthetic data.

But these and other technologies have not matured to the point of being useful, the advisory says.

As these technologies improve, the administration wants to be ready to take advantage of them by modifying existing regulations around data sharing and analysis, and the pending national strategy would inform those measures, the IAAF says. notice.

“The purpose of this RFI is to better understand how to accelerate the responsible development and adoption of [privacy-enhancing technologies] in a way that maximizes benefits for individuals and society, including increasing equity for underserved or marginalized groups and promoting trust in data processing and information technology,” the statement said. notice. “We are particularly interested in feedback on federal laws, regulations, authorities, research priorities, and other mechanisms within the federal government that could be used, modified, or introduced to expedite the development and adoption of PET.”

The RFI includes 10 “specific” areas of interest:

  • Specific research opportunities to advance PETs.
  • Specific technical aspects or limitations of PETs.
  • Specific industries, applications, or types of scans that would particularly benefit from the adoption of PETs.
  • Specific regulations or authorities that could be used, modified or introduced to advance PETs.
  • Specific laws that could be used, changed or introduced to advance TEPs.
  • Specific mechanisms, not covered above, that could be used, modified or introduced to advance PETs.
  • Risks related to the adoption of PETs.
  • Existing best practices that are useful for PET adoption.
  • Existing barriers, not covered above, to PET adoption.
  • Other information relevant to the adoption of PETs.

Information is gathered by OSTP’s Subcommittee on Networking and Information Technology Research and Development, or NITRD, through its Accelerated Action Committee on Promoting Sharing and privacy data analysis.

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