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Some in attendance are Mark Zuckerberg and Eric Schmidt

The White House is making big data and privacy higher priorities these days as it looks to gain feedback from both tech companies and American citizens. 
 
According to the White House Blog, John Podesta -- Counselor to the President -- is the head of a review of big data and privacy that will be delivered to President Barack Obama next month. But before the review ends, he wants input from everyday American citizens on how big data affects their lives and workplaces.
 
Podesta has already spoken with industry experts, technologists, civil society organizations and international regulators, academic researchers and privacy and civil liberties advocates. Now the mic is being passed to citizens, who can send their opinions on who they trust with their data, which technologies are particularly interesting or worrisome, and how it changes their daily lives right here.  
 
Responses will be included in the final review for the president. 
 
Meanwhile, Obama is conducting some privacy reviews of his own. He is meeting with tech companies once again Friday to discuss technology, privacy and intelligence.
 
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt are expected to attend, but it isn't clear who else will join the meeting. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who attended the last meeting with the president, was unable to make it in such short notice.


 
Obama met with the tech leaders in December 2013 to discuss some of the country's top issues, like HealthCare.gov and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google's Schmidt and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were in attendance.
 
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden started revealing the NSA's spy programs and other activities early last year, which revealed some unsettling behaviors for tech companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo. For instance, the NSA intercepted communications between Google and Yahoo data centers without either of the companies knowing.
 
The NSA also created fake Facebook pages that led targets to believe they were logging into the real Facebook. Once they logged in, the NSA used malicious code to draw data from their computer. 
 
Since, tech leaders have been very outspoken about their feelings on the NSA's spy programs. For instance, Schmidt said that the NSA's spying on data centers is "outrageous" and that its strategies of pulling hundreds of millions of records to find a few hundred is "bad public policy" and even "illegal." 
 
Zuckerberg has been another loud voice, saying the government "blew it" and even recently calling Obama on the phone to complain about the NSA's spy programs on the Web.  
 
"When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government," said Zuckerberg earlier this month. "I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform." 

Source: The White House Blog





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