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White House, MIT collaborate on data privacy

John Podesta was named to lead a general review of big-data and privacy practices.
John Podesta was named to lead a general review of big-data and privacy practices.SAUL LOEB /AFP Getty Images

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It might shock anyone familiar with the National Security Agency spying scandal, but the White House says it’s worried about your privacy on the Web.

And to get a better handle on the issue that has become a burning hot topic, it is sending top officials to tap the bright minds at MIT next week.

The Obama administration selected the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help it understand the privacy implications in the era of big data, in which computers—whether deep inside the NSA or the offices of Amazon.com Inc.—analyze massive collections of personal information to either uncover potential terror threats or figure out shopping habits.

On Monday, the Cambridge center of computing brain power will host the first in a series of nationwide public workshops about privacy and data.

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