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Department of Commerce should include a Data Policy Office to focus on data policies that foster innovation.

It’s not enough for the Obama administration to work to protect people from inappropriate use of data; they should proactively encourage the appropriate use of data, including pushing for policies that increase data sharing and reduce barriers to global information flows. A newly created Data Policy Office should also lead the development of an R&D framework for privacy to ensure that federal research dollars are directed at the most pressing privacy challenges.