Legal Responses to the Commodification of Personal Data in the Era of Big Data: The Paradigm Shift from Data Protection towards Data Ownership.

Douilhet, E. and Karanasiou, A., 2016. Legal Responses to the Commodification of Personal Data in the Era of Big Data: The Paradigm Shift from Data Protection towards Data Ownership. In: Singh, M. K. and Gak, D. K., eds. Effective Data Management and Opportunities for Implementation. IGI Global, pp. 128-136.

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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0182-4


Big Data is a relatively recent phenomenon, but has already shown its potential to drastically alter the relationships between businesses, individuals, and governments. The issues surrounding privacy of the online users (Mayer-Shoenberger, Cukier 2013) and the overall ethical challenges involved (Schroeder, 2014) make big data a topical issue, especially in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations. Many organisations now control vast amounts of raw data, and those industry players with the resources to mine that data to create new information have a significant advantage in the big data market. The use of predictive analytics in processing information tracked across different platforms to identify trends in the behaviour of individuals further adds value to big data (Fotopoulou, 2014) and makes it an important asset for any commercial entity. This rapid commodification of personal data has given rise to a new approach with regard its legal protection in the era of big data: a shift from the traditional privacy protection regime to a wider protection under property law is considered by scholars as an appropriate legal response to the phenomenon of monetisation of personal data, once seen through the lens of big data (Victor, 2013). The aim of this chapter is to identify the legal grounds for the ownership of big data: who legally owns the petabytes and exabytes of information created daily? Does this belong to the users, the data analysts or to the data brokers and various infomediaries? The chapter presents a succinct overview of the legal ownership of big data by examining the key players in control of the information at each stage of the processing of big data. It then moves on to describe the current legislative framework with regard to data protection and concludes in additional techno-legal solutions offered to complement the law of big data in this respect, with a particular focus on the European context .

Item Type:Book Section
ISBN:9781522501824, 1522501827
Number of Pages:250
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:23576
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:16 May 2016 13:59
Last Modified:09 Aug 2016 08:35


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