19 June 2014, Brussels: The amount of data generated and collected by the connected economy is staggering. The phenomenon of big data – where information comes from different sources ranging from connected devices to sensors and GPS – offers enormous potential to develop innovative products and services.
But big data challenges established ways to protect personal information. Do individuals understand well enough how big data works to be able to grant consent to their information being shared? Is the notion of consent becoming outmoded and should we look to new models based on control that would enable individuals to manage their data more effectively? The EU is currently overhauling its data protection rules which date back to 1995. Will the new rules been negotiated be able to deal with the challenges of big data? Or will they hold back innovation in the digital sphere.
European Voice is organising an online debate on these issues from 10 to 18 July. The motion to be debated is: “In the era of big data, relying on informed consent for data privacy is illusory.” Speakers will include Joe McNamee, executive director at European Digital Rights (EDRi) and Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, academic director of the MIT-Harvard-ODI Big Data and People Project. Follow the conversation online here.