Determining the Regulations Big Data Should Face

The ability to cross reference tire sizes by auto accident frequency may have the ability to save you on your monthly premium. But what are the additional theoretical or even real costs associated with the increased use of big data?

As the big data industry continues to grow and our daily lives become more integrated into a multitude of datasets, some countries are looking at how to regulate the types of information, the way information is collected and the way information is used.

A global challenge

In Europe, there is a proposal for a regulation called the general data protection regulation(GDPR). This regulation would subject foreign companies that process the personal data of EU citizens such as names, email addresses, medical information or even social networking sites to increased scrutiny and stiff penalties for data misuse.

Here in the US, there are currently a number of laws that appear to be applicable to regulating how data is collected. But according to information from the General Accounting Office, those policies are outdated and not adequate. Regulations such as HIPAA (1996), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (1998) or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (1986) are all tasked with regulating technologies that simply didn’t exist then.

But this is also a challenge of scale. Big data is big business. In fact, according to some estimates, in 2012 the data-driven marketing economy added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs. That’s nearly half of total U.S. expenditures on marketing and advertising services, which is estimated at $292 billion annually. Because of this massive presence in our economy, even the FTC has vowed to find a way to regulate the collection of data. Integrating big data in your business

In the face of potential regulation, ensuring that your business is utilizing big data in a safe, secure and effective way is vital. Discovering repeatable business patterns is the most valuable benefit of big data and if those patterns and business practices are eventually subject to regulation, you want to ensure that your data is safe.

This is especially vital in big data for health care or even in the consumer space with organizations. Today, we’re able to mine a richer field of less structured, and potentially more valuable, data from weblogs, social media, email, sensors and photographs. Alacer offers your organization the ability to translate that data into actionable results while ensuring that you are staying compliant of any current or future regulations.

by Richard Paxton