This year’s European Data Protection & Privacy Conference raised some crucial points in relation to GDPR and global changes. Here are our top picks.
Breaking the myth that innovation and data protection are incompatible
According to Paul Nemitz of the European Commission DG Justice and Consumers, innovation is perfectly compatible with privacy and data protection laws. However, data science should take privacy into account as an integral part of data innovation. Data scientists should understand, according to Daniel Pradelles of Hewlett-Packard, not only what they are looking for in the data, but also what they should not be looking for. Data protection should not be seen as standing in the way of innovation, according to Fanny Hidvegi of Access Now, a digital rights NGO.
Consent beyond ‘stupid clicks’
Whilst pointing out the benefits of Big Data analytics such as universal penetration of household smart meters in Estonia, Kaja Kallas MEP pointed out data protection consent should go beyond ‘stupid clicks’ meant to accept privacy terms. Whereas the main business priority is securing individuals’ consent, more effort should be put, as best practice, into ensuring end-users understand why their data is required and how it would be used.
Are we entering the era of ‘data sovereignty’?
According to James Kinsella, founder of Zettabox, we are entering an era of governments focusing on ‘data sovereignty’, with the US the latest likely advocate of the concept after the examples in Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. It is according to Kinsella vital for Europe to take a lead in data protection, which includes opposing the populism of ‘data sovereignty’.
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