Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Big Data and Civil Rights Report from the White House

Media 05.5.16

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement in response to the White House’s latest report on big data, which is focused on the intersection of algorithmic systems, opportunity, and civil rights. As the report states, it “examines several case studies from the spheres of credit and lending, hiring and employment, higher education, and criminal justice to provide snapshots of opportunities and dangers, as well as ways that government policies can work to harness the power of big data and avoid discriminatory outcomes.”

In 2014, The Leadership Conference partnered with 13 other civil and human rights and technology organizations to release a set of civil rights principles for the era of big data:

“Two years ago, we underscored the need for new technologies to be designed and used in ways that respect the values of equal opportunity and equal justice. We are pleased to see the White House’s strong and continued focus on these values, as reflected in this latest report on the administration’s big data initiative.

This report is an important acknowledgment of the critical need to pay careful attention to ensure that big data protects and advances, rather than undermines, civil rights. 

We applaud this emphasis on civil rights in the context of big data, and urge the administration and federal agencies at all levels to do even more to ensure that technological progress brings greater safety and economic opportunity to everyone, and especially the most vulnerable populations.”


Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit