"There is a lot of benefits that come from being able to use the availability of information that gives you the ability to see patterns and opportunities in policy-making, and as businesses have learned, doing their own business," he adds. "The challenge is to do it in a way that's respectful of privacy" while still garnering value from the data assets.
Lew's remarks came during a swing through Silicon Valley that included a tour of the headquarters of the tax-software vendor Intuit and planned meetings with Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, and CFO Ruth Porat.
Lew also highlights the administration's goal of reaching a bipartisan deal on a legislative package to shore up the nation's infrastructure. That would include measures to repair crumbling roads and bridges, but Lew and others also stress the importance of building out broadband infrastructure to expand access to high-speed Internet service, an issue the administration addressed early on with the economic stimulus package -- the first major legislation of President Obama's first term.
"We know we need to strengthen our infrastructure -- that creates good jobs," Lew says.
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