Big Data has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. This was especially the case in Brussels, where the fiercely debated EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in 2016. A major concern for all of us is personal privacy. Less discussed is the use of Big Data for social good.
A traditional sectoral approach to harnessing the potential of Big Data for social good is insufficient. This is the case in terms of organisations from different sectors partnering to develop new technologies. It also means that legislation and policies on Big Data must be forward thinking and facilitate cross-sectoral co-operation.
For those reasons, the Roundtable on “Big Data for social good” was organised by Sidley and Bridges Consulting, which brought together high level government affairs and legal expertise to take a strategic view of the big picture.
Representatives of key sectors involved in the field were present, including those from the telecommunications, technology, pharmaceuticals and medical technology. The following issues were debated from a policy focused and cross sector perspective:
- How can expertise from different sectors be combined to harness the potential of Big Data for social good?
- How does the implementation of the GDPR, and upcoming E-Privacy Regulation, affect the EU and international perspective for Big Data?
- How do sectoral legislations such as the EU Medical Devices Regulation interact with the GDPR? Does this facilitate development of technologies, or create hurdles?
- How can data created by individuals, companies and governments be cross-fertilised to derive additional value?
- What perspective for more accurate and effective health, social care and humanitarian spending?
It is the intention to hold a second working meeting in the fourth quarter of 2017 to further build on this valuable initial discussion.