NEWS2 April 2014

MRA urges White House to focus on differentiation in big data policy

Government News North America

US — The Marketing Research Association (MRA) has urged the White House to ‘focus on use and purpose differentiation’ in big data policy.


The White House had requested comments as part of President Obama’s review of big data and privacy, and the MRA responded on behalf of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession.

According to a statement on the MRA website, the association had been compelled to contribute because “analysis of massive data sets is playing a growing role in the research business, both on its own and in conjunction with more traditional research methodologies.” In its comments, the association expressed concern that President Obama was inadvertently minimising the importance of public concern around the NSA and Edward Snowden’s revelations by “lumping together NSA spying and private sector data collection into the same bucket.”

“We sincerely hope that, through the course of this review, the White House is able to properly separate these spheres of activity, since such data uses are extremely different,” the comments stated.

These comments come just over a week after the MRA criticised the White House for a “poorly executed” online survey looking to gather public opinion on the review.