The EU will seek to establish new rules on big data ownership as it calls on governments to embrace the opportunity of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Commission also wants to create an ‘open data incubator’ for SMBs to set up data-based supply chains and found a public-private partnership to finance industrial uses for big data as it tries to dispel any fear of the concept.
Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "It’s about time we focus on the positive aspects of big data. Big data sounds negative and scary, and for the most part it isn’t. Leaders need to embrace big data."
However, the Commission identified four main problems concerning the phenomenon, which will only be accelerated by the IoT.
They are a lack of cross-border co-ordination, insufficient infrastructure and funding, a shortage of data experts and fragmented, overly complex legislation.
When asked what the EU’s rules on IoT-gathered big data ownership would address, spokesman Ryan Heath said it was impossible to know this early.
"This would typically take a year of consultation and debate before anything would be proposed," he added.
In an email, he said that it would incorporate feedback from previous consultations on making cloud services safe.
"The Commission will partner with member states and stakeholders to ensure that businesses receive guidance on data anonymisation and pseudonymisation, personal data risk analysis, and tools and initiatives to enhance consumer awareness," he wrote.
"It will also invest into the search for related technical solutions that are privacy-enhancing ‘by design’."
The news comes after the European Data Protection Supervisor warned in March that user privacy has not been given enough thought when it comes to big data.
Peter Hustinx said: "The evolution of big data has exposed gaps in EU competition, consumer protection and data protection policies that do not seem to have kept up with this development."
The Commission also revealed it has been discussing a public-private funding partnership with representatives from both sectors for six months now, while it will work to provide Supercomputing Centres of Excellence to boost European data expert numbers.
In addition, it plans to establish a network of data processing facilities in different member states.
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