NSA will have to go before a judge and present evidence before collecting the data.
Obama did not choose to end the controversial metadata collection program outright -- as his own review panel suggested -- but rather to employ a few safeguards to prevent data that was not part of a terrorist investigation from being accessed, like spying on loved ones.
The metadata is still being collected, but the NSA will have to go before a judge and present evidence that "there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the selection term is associated with an approved international terrorist organization" before querying it. Also, phone calls have to be two steps removed from a suspected terrorist rather than three.
It may not be the progress many privacy advocates (and, again, Obama's own panel) hoped for, but it's something.