Privacy, Innovation and Regulation: Examining the Impact of the European 'Cookie Law' on Technological Trajectories
16 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 8, 2018
Data has become such an important economic factor that it is now defined as the new “gold” by the World Economic Forum. Partly because of that, the threats and advantages associated with ubiquitous data collection have increased privacy concerns across online users, civil society, organizations and policy makers. The ubiquity of computing and communication technologies has led to the radical growth of data collection. The economic importance of Big Data is demonstrated by the significant adoption and deployment of computing and communication technologies within private corporations, with most of the investments focused on the creation of detailed consumer databases and data mining technologies. While privacy-sensitive industries like banking, insurance, and healthcare are widely aware of the privacy consequences of their investments in Big Data technologies and they are subject to restrictive regulations, the majority of companies that collect vast repositories of data on their consumers are not restricted by the same regulations. New technical abilities to collect, analyze, diffuse, and store vast quantities of data raise new concerns about the nature of privacy. These challenges arise because new technologies collect so much data and analyze it so efficiently (e.g., data mining and analytics) that it is possible to learn far more than most people may want or anticipate. Further compounding the situation, new advances in data sciences have rendered obsolete traditional technologies used to protect privacy (such as de-identification or anonymization).
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