Data-driven innovation is deeply transforming society and the economy. Although there are many potential economic and social benefits, this innovation also brings new challenges for individual and collective privacy, security, as well as democracy and participation. To draw the attention of the big data community and drive the discussion towards the development of the research agenda in this field, e-SIDES hosted the networking session “Building the Privacy and Security Research Agenda for Big Data” held on the 5th of December at ICT 2018 in Vienna. The session, chaired by Richard Stevens (e-SIDES Coordinator and Consulting Director at IDC), leveraged the research outcomes of the e-SIDES project, which had classified the main privacy-preserving technologies (PPTs), to assess with participants the state of the art, discuss emerging challenges, and drive a collaborative discussion on the next research agenda for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in this field.
Stevens opened the session with an overview of the e-SIDES project and the work carried out so far with the aim to reach a common vision for an ethically sound approach to big data and facilitate RRI in the field, as well as to improve the dialogue between stakeholders and the confidence of citizens towards big data technologies and data markets. The occasion was also particularly relevant in order to present the upcoming e-SIDES community position paper and invite researchers examining privacy-preserving technologies and Big Data analytics, and worrying about privacy and ethical issues, to share their opinions to guide forward the research in this field and contribute to this agreed-upon and collective paper providing recommendations.
After the introduction, Daniel Bachlechner (Fraunhofer) and Alan Sears (eLAW – Leiden University) presented an overview of the methodology and main research outcomes of the project. The first step in the project was to identify important ethical, legal, societal and economic issues raised by big data applications. The second step was to provide an overview of existing technologies that may have the potential to address some of the issues, while the third one consisted in an assessment of the technologies.
Finally, the last step consisted in an analysis of gaps in the implementation of existing privacy-preserving technologies that may be used in the big data context.
The presentation was followed by a panel session centered around the question “What’s important to make sure that RRI responds to real needs?”. The discussion involved:
- Natalie Bertels - Research Unit KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law KU Leuven
- Tjerk Timan – Policy Analyst TNO
- Anna Zsófia Horváth - Department of Corporate Law, Civil Law – Internet Law, Copyright and Telecommuncation Law University of Goettingen
- Dr Vlado Stankovski - Distributed and Cloud Computing University of Ljubljana
Throughout the session, the attendees were directly involved in the discussion through Mentimeter, a technology supported in-room application, allowing them to ask questions in real-time and vote for the ones they believe to be most relevant.