NITRD Agencies To Develop National Privacy Research Strategy

By David Bruggeman
September 30, 2014

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has asked a steering group in the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program to lead development of a National Privacy Research Strategy.  As part of this effort, there is a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment.  Submissions (of no more than 20 pages) must be sent in by October 17.

The call for such a research strategy is informed, per the RFI, from calls for additional research into privacy-enhancing technologies.  The resulting strategy will include research objectives and a framework for organizing ideas intended to address those objectives.  This framework is intended to encourage approaching privacy research questions from a multi-disciplinary perspective, including several disciplines in approaching privacy-enhancing technologies.

There are four main questions/topics in the RFI:

  • Privacy Objectives
  • Assessment Capabilities
  • Mulit-disciplinary Approach
  • Privacy Architectures

While most of these topics are described in general terms, the RFI mentions a ‘responsible use model’ when discussing Privacy Architectures.  This is linked to the Administration’s Big Data report, which was one of the reports cited in the RFI.

It’s worth noting that the RFI specifically states that while social and legal solutions can address concerns over privacy, those tools will not be a focus of the emerging National Strategy.  That will focus on “the research directions for privacy-enhancing technologies, designs, and methods to enable privacy-preserving information systems.”