miércoles, 15 de enero de 2014

#IoT + #BigData = The need of new rights

The crossroad of Internet of The Things and Bigdata oblige us to face new challenges. The risk of forgetting the fundamental risk for the sake of producing new services and products is there. The need for a bigger efficiency in the public sector and  more personalised services produced by companies should not be fulfilled at the expenses of our personal rights. 

And the materialisation of the risks is already happening around us. The deployment of sensors is done in may areas without previous knowledge of those who will be sensed. Personalised advertisements to better serve the customer were the excuse in the cases of the snooping trash bins in London and the Tesco´s face scanners, but it is difficult to foreseen where are going to be the limits of the seek of efficient services in the SmartCity arena and it is clear that few local councils ask their citizens if they want to be sensed. And it is not happen only in the United Kingdom, in Las Vegas they have deployed a lightning system capable to interact with pedestrians ... even if they do not want !!

In this scenario, it is quite logic that some voices have begin to ask for the development of new bills of citizen and consumer rights, specially the main right is the right to access our own data. A fail to develop this kind of charta, would bring us worrysome scenes in the future.

And this regulation should include the tools we use for recording data and the data collected. There is an strong need of base the development of the Smart City paradigm based on open source solutions, we have the right to know all the details about the first steps in the handle of our digital footprint. And the digital footprints of citizens and city should also become part of the digital commons to ensure a fair explotation of this new source of richness.

Critical for the fulfillment of the above vision of a non-invasive deployment of the new sensing technologies is ensuring a respectful automatised treatment of the personal data. And for this purpose, anonymisation techniques should be applied: Data masking, Pseudonymisation, Aggregation, ... Steps to be taken in order to avoid the jig-saw effect. 

We should never forget what Neelie Kroes reminded in a speech a couple of months ago: "Nothing we do should be at the expense of fundamental rights. Mastering big data means mastering privacy too". What is more, it looks that without the guarantee of this rights the business opportunities will dissapear.



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