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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Kirk Nahra Discusses “Big Data” and White House Privacy Report

The Privacy Advisor
May 7, 2014

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in an article published yesterday by The Privacy Advisor about a White House privacy report that includes recommendations for embracing “big data” while protecting consumers’ privacy.  Mr. Nahra is editor of The Privacy Advisor and a board member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the organization that publishes it.

The May 1 White House report includes a review of privacy challenges associated with big data—large, interconnected databases of personal information collected by the government and companies.  According to the article, the report was lauded by many in the privacy community; however, some are skeptical on its ability to effect change.  Mr. Nahra said that while the report will further elevate big data into the public dialogue, it is unlikely to bring the privacy community closer to consensus.

Mr. Nahra said he is “concerned that it puts real pressure on companies to justify their uses of big data and how they are going to avoid or prevent these negatives.”

Despite widespread support for a data breach notification law, Mr. Nahra said Congress is not likely to pass legislation.  “The primary hurdle is the inability of Congress to do anything they don't really have to,” he said.

Read the entire article here.