There is no suitable alternative for bulk data collection, according to a new report from the National Research Council.
The study, created in response to President Obama's directive in 2014 to evaluate U.S. signals intelligence practices, analyzed the feasibility of the government using more targeted software to avoid mass data collection.
The study discussed “controlling usage” of collected data, or more specifically, isolating the bulk data, restricting the type of queries that can be made against stored data, and auditing queries that have already been made. These controls' methodology, the study said, could be made public so that independent parties can ensure privacy procedures are being followed.
Technology is currently in development to enhance targeted collection and improve usage control, the study found, but no specific technology was cited as an alternative.