The Obama White House is co-hosting a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) workshop on “big data” as part of an administration effort to analyze how to collect and use complex data for public policy.
It comes as little surprise that the White House is analyzing “big data” collection considering the effectiveness of the 2012 Obama campaign’s personality-tracking voter targeting database created through its “Project Dreamcatcher.” The information from that database is now held by Obama’s nonprofit advocacy group Organizing for Action.
White House counselor John Podesta, a left-wing operative who founded the Center for American Progress, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will represent the Obama administration at the March 3 workshop, “Big Data and Privacy: Advancing the State of the Art in Technology and Practice” with MIT president L. Rafael Reif.
Even though they got the word “privacy” in there, the White House project makes clear that it is focused on “collecting, analyzing, and using” data for policy purposes.
“Last month, the President asked Counselor John Podesta to lead a comprehensive review of how ‘big data’ – data sets so massive, diverse, or complex, that conventional technologies cannot adequately capture, store, or analyze them – will affect how Americans live and work. Senior administration officials have since begun to look at the implications of collecting, analyzing, and using such data for privacy, the economy, and public policy,” according to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Additional workshops will be held at New York University and University of California-Berkeley.
MIT professor and Obama economic adviser Esther Duflo developed the theories that were employed to help build French Socialist president Francois Hollande’s successful voter-tracking database, which were then carried over to the Obama 2012 campaign.