Big Data & Privacy

‘Big Data’ is a collection of large datasets from many different sources which organisations capture, curate, store, search, share, transfer, analyse and visualize. It may or may not include personal datasets. Personal datasets should only be part of ‘Big Data’ collections in cases where individuals have given their explicit consent in regard to which of their personal data can be included.

However, in many cases there is no need to include personal datasets in ‘Big Data’ collections; often it is sufficient to include profile information, which can be submitted anonymously or under a pseudonym.

Problems arise there where feedback on the conclusions of ‘Big Data’ analysis processes are sent to individuals in a personalized form (for example, “Dear Mr…/Dear Ms…, our analysis show that you belong to a group which is likely to attract the following disease…etc.). Therefore, the individual must be given the right and the possibility to explicitly agree or not to agree to receiving such individualized messages.

Organisations which endorse the above statements are invited to contact us as we can advise you on how to incorporate ‘Big Data’ analysis in your organisation with respect for the privacy interests of your customers. We can help you with all the legal, governance, compliance and public & regulatory aspects. Once your organisation has implemented our recommendations, it will be fully compliant with the upcoming European regulatory framework for the protection of personal data (while you can still do engage in ‘Big Data’ analysis).