Some Mauritius Conference last day highlights

17/10/2014

Ethics, Fundamental Rights and Big Data was discussed yesterday at the 36th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. Some highlights:

What is the motivation behind the risk? There is an analogy between chemistry and big data, the conduct of experiments to mix substances and examine the results. I fear pre-destination based on inaccurate and/or mistaken data. (Scott Taylor, VP, HP and co-chair of the Foundation Big Data Best Practices Project)

The UK’s Anonymisation Network brings together the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the Universities of Manchester and Southampton. 85% of people ae worried about disclosing and/or selling of their data. (Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, United Kingdom)

How to use data in a privacy protective way? The UN’s Global Pulse’s role is to advise on how to use data for the public good and how it should not to be misused. Twitter provides an early warning system for The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and mobile phone data provides information on movements of population in relation to floods and other emergencies.  Harms are also considered. HIV data can help health care but in some countries it can lead to punishment for homosexuals as indicating criminal behaviour. It would be a risk if data could be re-identified. There are not enough anonymisation standards. (Liudmyla Romanoff, Legal Specialist, United Nations Global Pulse, in the Office of the Secretary-General)

“People will not use personal data if they do not trust the company….Conditions are in place for an exponential growth of devices and systems…Therefore, there will be an explosion of data...Notice needs to evolve into transparency…Consent should not be a one-off concept… Maximal use of big data requires the ethical use of big data…. Alogrithms will take decisions. How do you build ethics into algorithms?” (Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft)

A similar summary is available to subscribers to PL&B's UK and International Reports on three other sessions from the last day of the Mauritius conference. Fuller articles will be published in the October and December editions of the PL&B International Report. Subscribers can obtain this summary by e-mailing stewart.dresner@privacylaws.com

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