Privacy and data protection in the emerging world of big data and new services – PL 02 2015

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4 June 2015 | 17:00-18:00
Programme overview 2015

Session teaser

This Plenary will address new paradigms for privacy in an increasingly connected world and an era of big data, including an examination of open standards, data protection models and privacy in business and innovation.

Session description

With the advent of the Internet of Things (“IoT”), a new Internet age is emerging which will likely lead to many significant shifts in the Internet’s future role in society. These shifts will have major implications for the future of the Internet, including its governance and future development. There have been dramatic transformations to Internet-enabled devices that network and communicate with each other providing unprecedented opportunities for new services, improved productivity and efficiency, real-time decision-making and innovative user experiences. Where every device and virtually all electronic devices are connected in this new era of IoT, there is an exponential growth in collecting, transmitting, and analyzing data resulting in a massive creation of a vast knowledge set. While IoT and data analysis can lead to greater empowerment of world citizens and economic growth, the same opportunity challenges the concept of privacy.

The increasing rise in data capturing, linking, analyzing and using information raises concerns about individual privacy protection. Personal data is the type that has drawn the most attention from a regulatory and policy point of view. Thus, the challenge is to achieve a balance between individuals’ right to privacy and the emerging opportunities in data innovation. Importantly, there is a paradox where the Internet is used intensively and data is relinquished willingly with opposing fears that privacy is compromised. This paradox hinders the potential unlimited growth of the Internet age by users and industry that may ultimately affect the global economy.

As the Internet progresses to IoT and beyond, there is increasing discussion and debate regarding the role of standards in addressing the privacy (and security) concerns, but this raises the question of whether today’s open standards and networking technologies are effective and advanced enough to support and realize the projected exponential growth of the Internet. Specifically this raises the question of the role of open standards for identity and payment on the Internet in order to facilitate global economic development.

In addition, the issue arises as to whether the relatively modest adoption of IPv6 will hinder unique services that can be offered over the Internet. New services for users will be fueled by data and knowledge whose full potential may depend upon the increased number of IP addresses.

This panel will explore these issues at the intersection of Internet governance and IoT, and discuss how we can balance these growing data opportunities and associated business and societal benefit with the potential risks so that future development can develop unencumbered. The participants will examine how to best frame the global debate and examine these shared issues with a focus on privacy and human rights in the context of emerging services based on the collection, analysis and use of data.


Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Privacy, Identity, Data protection, Data collection, Mass surveillance, Big data, The right to be forgotten, Data retention, Privacy in the digital age, Human rights



Further reading


  • Focal Point:
    • Karen McCabe
    • Justin Caso
  • Org team:
    • Louise Bennett
    • Els van Campenhout
    • Jacob Dexe, Frederic Donck
    • Gry Hasselbalch Lapenta
    • Radoslav Rizov
  • Panelists:
    • Dr. Louise Bennett, BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT
    • Professor Bhaskar Choubey, Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Fellow of Somerville College
    • Mr. Jacob Dexe, Researcher, SICS Swedish ICT
    • Mr. Ventsislav Karadjov, DP Commissioner of Bulgaria, Council of Europe Expert
  • Moderator: Karen McCabe, IEEE, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs
  • Reporter: Radoslav Rizov, Microsoft Bulgaria, Expert Projects & Programmes
  • Remote moderator: Justin Caso, IEEE, Technology Policy and International Affairs Advisor

Current discussion

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Live stream / remote participation

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Final report

  • During the dialogue the participants together with the panelists agreed that information is considered to be the main asset of the digital economy, on the other hand when it comes to personal data we all shall realize that personal data will never be secure if people do not believe they need to secure it. It’s matter of a mindset that the society must be more responsible for securing and protecting it’s personal data regardless of the circumstances.
  • Trust – it has been stressed as the main pillar when it comes to data protection and internet issues, we need to build trust by providing sufficient regulation, better enforcement, transparency and clear and concise privacy policies, service level agreements as well as terms and conditions.
  • When it comes to privacy it is rather difficult to get access to what data a state collects and stores about a user, essentially we need more transparency among all stakeholders with regards to how is personal data used, is the information shared with third parties without explicit consent, how the data is protected.
  • Balance should be achieved between individuals’ right to privacy and the emerging opportunities in data innovation.

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