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August 6, 2015

Big Data debate: 5 ways politics is ruining Big Data

Is politics hindering the market adoption of Big Data?

By James Nunns

By now we know the myths that surround Big Data and some of the concerns that may be on people’s minds when it comes to considering doing something with their data.

One area that hasn’t been covered is how politics is holding back the Big Data market. CBR has compiled a list of how this is impacting the market.

1. Regulation

The EU has a patchwork of different regulations that cover data regulation and it is taking years to actually get anywhere.

Lawmakers, companies, politicians and rights groups are all having their say in how regulation will take shape and it’s making it a very long process.

While the US and EU are making headway with the Safe Harbour revamped regulation, with an agreement expected to be signed this week. It is something that has taken years.

Further EU data protection regulation is on the way, while the UK’s seemingly ever changing approach to data regulation is keeping everyone on their toes.

2. Privacy

Chances are you will have been made truly aware of data privacy and why you should be concerned, by the Edward Snowden leaks and WikiLeaks.

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The leaks painted a scary picture of a realisation of George Orwell’s, 1984. A dystopian world where big brother watches and controls everything you do.

We may have feared it, but the leaks provided evidence of surveillance on a scale that no one could have imagined.

The NSA and GCHQ have a lot to answer for, ignoring the legality and morality, they have held back acceptance of Big Data.

This means that customers are a lot less likely to want to share their data, which has a kick on affect to companies that need that data to make more informed decisions.

3. Security

Politics has both helped and hindered Big Data security. With the Snowden leaks consumers will have become much more aware of how they are being monitored, this has caused security firms to act.

Many more devices and pieces of software are available to consumers that aim to protect and hide your identity, to keep your data safe.
While this may be good for those selling these devices and pieces of software, it will undoubtedly be making the lives of security organisations more difficult.

This is the problem with being caught monitoring people’s webcams; even if it is in order to help track terrorists, which is debatable, it’s now a lot harder to do as a result of overzealous collecting.

4. Education

Political fumbling over what the education system should look like in the UK has left it un-focused and perhaps un-fit for the modern world.

Many tech leaders are sick and tired of finding graduates to be unqualified for the roles they need to fill.

To have the CEO of a large Big Data company say that the Government needs to "have some balls" on its failing education system means you’re probably doing something wrong.

David Richards, CEO, WANdisco, the aforementioned company, went on to say: "Our education system in the UK was created 100 years ago to service an empire economy, not a business economy. We still have bright intelligent people, but we now accept that if we take graduates we pretty much have to train them ourselves."

5. Open Data

This ties in with a number of the previously mentioned areas, with regulation concerns on-going and privacy and security hindering adoption and acceptance, companies and people are less willing to share their data.

Government policies regarding the safeguarding of data and how it can be used continue to change in a way that is causing chaos among companies.

The simple matter is, that if a company doesn’t know how it can use and share data without being subject to ever changing laws then it is unlikely to want to invest in the area.

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