Calling all PEN members and supporters! The White House is currently conducting a review of “Big Data and the Future of Privacy.” As part of the review, they are requesting public comment, and have set up a simple and short online survey, available here. President Obama commissioned the review, which is examining how big data–roughly defined as “the storage and analysis of large and/or complex data sets” that can include, among other things, information about what we buy, what we do online, and where we go–affects our work and lives. If you are worried about the collection and/or use of personal information by the government or by the private sector, it is crucial that you make your voice heard by responding to the survey and showing the White House that we want laws and policies that protect our privacy and limit the sharing and use of big data. 

We know from our survey of U.S. PEN members that many of you are concerned not only about government surveillance and data collection, but also the collection of personal information by corporations for purposes like tracking consumer preferences, and collaboration between the private sector and the government in terms of information collection and sharing. 94% of members reported that they are either very concerned or somewhat concerned about technology companies providing personal information to the government, and 89% of members are either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the gathering of data by corporations to track and analyze consumer behavior. The White House’s survey is a great opportunity to make your concerns clear to the White House. As President Obama and Congress consider and debate various reform proposals related to surveillance and data collection, they need to hear a loud-and-clear public demand for privacy.  By taking two minutes to respond to the survey, you can join the call.