Tag Archives: privacy

Big Data and Privacy: Paradoxes and Opportunities

Last week the Future of Privacy Forum and Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society hosted a highly interactive meeting of the minds to discuss the most significant challenges to and opportunities for harnessing big data both effectively and ethically. For those who were able to attend, we got to participate in spirited debates about the roles of the private sector, government, consumers and privacy advocates alike in structuring workable standards that respect the privacy of those whose data is being collected, analyzed and, hopefully, protected. For those who were unable to make it, here are four big takeaways that represent the state of the dialogue and what we can expect as this hot topic plays out among decision makers and academics with a stake in the future of big data:

  1. No one can agree on how to produce standards for privacy and data analysis. Participants at the conference highlighted the fact that significant disagreement remains about the value of the data itself. Indeed, various schools of thought assign the value within the data analysis process elsewhere, essentially placing much higher value on the inferences drawn from the data, rather than the raw data. The dialogue here turns very scientific, but suffice to say, a long road lies ahead as researchers, lawmakers, businesses and regulatory bodies map out a standardized way of discussing big data and all of the associated outcomes of data analysis.