Project Report Shows the Dan­gers and Oppor­tu­ni­ties of Big Data

As part of the sec­ond phase of the “Does Ger­many Need a Dig­i­tal Codex?” project, the iRights.Lab has pro­duced an exten­sive study of Big Data. It espe­cial­ly deals with the themes of smart health and smart mobil­i­ty.

The report drawn up for the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­net Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and Secu­ri­ty (Deutsches Insti­tut für Ver­trauen und Sicher­heit im Inter­net, DIVSI) gives an overview of the chal­lenges asso­ci­at­ed with the col­la­tion of huge data sets. The analy­sis hinges on the social bat­tle lines which are being drawn around Big Data. “Today we see the first efforts to get to grips with these social ques­tions; tomor­row the solu­tions and answers to these ques­tions about our future will be decid­ed”, writes Philipp Otto, leader of the “Does Ger­many Need a Dig­i­tal Codex?” project. The Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the iRights.Lab con­tin­ues: “Only when we are able to bring all the social actors around a table and work togeth­er to devel­op ade­quate tech­ni­cal, legal and eth­i­cal mod­els for deal­ing with large data sets will we be able to arrive at the phase of active­ly shap­ing soci­ety. That is our goal.” With the pub­li­ca­tion of this report, the iRights.Lab and DIVSI have laid the ground­work for the devel­op­ment of a dig­i­tal codex cov­er­ing Big Data.

The results of the study, which was car­ried out as part of the one-year-old Big Data Par­tial Project were drawn up joint­ly with over 40 experts from eco­nom­ics, sci­ence, pol­i­tics and civil soci­ety. The process of cre­at­ing the report involved exten­sive inter­views and con­sul­ta­tions. More­over, a group of experts acted as a “Sound­ing Board” for the project through­out. Pub­lic events in Stuttgart and Berlin helped to raise the ideas devel­oped in the report in pub­lic debate, and invit­ed addi­tion­al analy­ses.

The project report can be down­loaded for free here (PDF, ~2 MB, Ger­man) .

In 2013, DIVSI asked the iRights.Lab to work with them in explor­ing whether or not Ger­many needs a dig­i­tal codex. Hav­ing answered the ques­tion in the affir­ma­tive, the sec­ond part of the project dealt in detail with Big Data amongst other things. By focussing on prac­ti­cal exam­ples, the report offers an easy way into the com­plex topic of Big Data. Thanks to the exper­tise that went into it, it also rep­re­sents a well-ground­ed con­tri­bu­tion to a high­ly-rel­e­vant and much-dis­cussed debate.

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