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.