Big Data Privacy In Europe And North America

Big Data Privacy In Europe And North America

Big Data Privacy in Europe and North America

As we have frequently discussed here on CloudTweaks, the usage of big data around the world is growing exponentially. Businesses, individuals, and governments are all increasingly reliant on the insights it provides, and are progressively basing decisions, policy, and strategy on the output they receive.

Nonetheless, big data is still a source of controversy for a lot of people. One particular area in which it has recently come under the spotlight is in the field of user privacy. Especially noteworthy is the differences in attitude and policy towards privacy between Europe and North America.

fail-safe_security_low_res

The US is still dealing with the fallout from last year’s NSA spying scandal and recently published a Federal Trade Commission paper on how the big data industry could be reformed. However, despite the publishing of the paper and the public’s concern there still hasn’t been any legislation specifically restricting, regulating or moderating the use of users’ data.

In practice, big data in the USA can currently affect your life in a very significant way. For example, if big data identifies a user as a motorcycle enthusiast, the user may get offers for cheaper motorcycles but might also be paying premiums on your insurance just for having an interest in motorcycles – insurance companies think that the user’s particular demographic have a riskier attitude. Worryingly for American citizens, there is no way for them to tell if they are included in such a group or not.

The FTC paper has proposed greater transparency. They want to introduce a central hub that people can use to see the information that has been collected about them, and through which they can then potentially edit or delete data altogether if they don’t like or agree with it.

In contrast, Europe has just seen the Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union say individuals have the right to have personal information taken off Google – termed ‘the right to be forgotten’. The ruling means that Google (and other search engines) must now remove information deemed “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.” Failure to do so can result in large fines for the search providers.

The reason for the change is due to a businessman who went bankrupt ten years ago, and despite bouncing back and becoming successful once again, links to his bankruptcy remained the top hits on when searching for his name.

The new ‘right to be forgotten’ policy is popular; after launching a page that enabled users to request links be removed from results, Google has now revealed they are receiving a ‘takedown request’ every seven seconds. It remains to be seen how easily Google will be able to manage the flow of requests – though with the threat of fines it seems they are more like to err on the side of caution and delete links rather than argue their case.

The new policy raises an ethical dilemma. For example, does a criminal have the right to be forgotten? Critics say that some information is in the public interest regardless of the affected person’s thoughts and should remain online. Until we get a serious test case we won’t know how robust the European Court’s policy really is.

What do you think? Is big data privacy an important issue? Is the American or the European method the better solution? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

What Technology Can Displace The Password?

What Technology Can Displace The Password?

The Future Password Many people shout that the password is dead or should be killed dead. The password could be killed, however, only when there is an alternative to the password. Let us think about what technology can displace the password. Some people might say that multi-factor authentications or ID federations will do it. It is not…

Cloud Computing – Know How To PaaS

Cloud Computing – Know How To PaaS

Know How To PaaS The future of enterprise IT is cloud, and the future of cloud is PaaS. Infrastructure is metal, plastic, and silicon. It has kinetic potential, but sits and waits to be animated. Software is ethereal – dynamic, wildly alive, and transformative. Without PaaS, the twain shall never meet. No animation, no dynamism,…

The Rise of Fintech and the End of Traditional Banking

The Rise of Fintech and the End of Traditional Banking

The Rise of Fintech Developments in financial technology, or fintech, are changing the way we make payments, with new products gradually transforming how personal and commercial transactions are processed. The pace of these developments has opened up a whole range of opportunities for fintech start-ups and new players; but the arrival of cutting-edge technology has…

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

CIOs Must Transform IT The emergence of the Cloud and its three delivery models of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) has dramatically impacted and forever changed the delivery of IT services. Cloud services have pierced the veil of IT by challenging traditional method’s dominance…

Hot Emerging Trends – The Pizza Delivery Drone

Hot Emerging Trends – The Pizza Delivery Drone

The Pizza Delivery Drone Recently, drone delivery systems have been discussed as future state plans for many vendors. I personally think the traceable IoT-based pizza delivery drone is the next big thing. If you think about it, your pizza makes it to your house much faster. Since the drone carries both a temperature and a…

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into…

Finally, The Time For Security Information Event Management (SIEM)

Finally, The Time For Security Information Event Management (SIEM)

The Time For SIEM Security Information Event Management (SIEM) tools have been around for a long time. My first encounter with a SIEM vendor was about twenty years ago while being courted to resell their product. To this day, I still recall two vivid memories from that meeting; the product was very complex and quite…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Advertising