Big Data and Medicine – New OPEN ACCESS Journal Article

Together with Stanford medical professor Erik Ingelsson, Professor Mayer-Schönberger has recently written a review article on the features, qualities, and implications of the use of Big Data in the context of medicine, and it has been published by the Journal of Internal Medicine. The piece summarizes Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s views on Big Data, as well as provides an overview of the Big Data application landscape in medicine. Thanks to a special arrangement with the Journal of Internal Medicine, the article is available in full free of charge (open access) here.

Big Data and Privacy in Europe

stlr-banner-new1Together with French privacy expert Yann Padova, professor Mayer-Schönberger has writtenRegime Change? looking at how Big Data will fare in Europe under the coming new General Data Protection Regulation that was enacted in 2016 and will come into force in 2018. Published by the Columbia Science & Technology Law Review, the article not only assesses Big Data use in Europe in the future, but also offers a surprising path that may enable some (but not all) Big Data uses.

Europa reguliert an den Datenschutzbedürfnissen seiner Bürger(innen) vorbei

280px-Frankfurter_Allgemeine_logo.svgDie Vodafone-Siftung präsentierte die Ergebnisse der größten Umfrage über Datenschutz und Big Data in Europa. Die Ergebnisse sind markant: die Menschen trauen vielen Datennutzern nicht, Datenschutznormen greifen offenbar viel zu unzureichend. Eine große Sorge vor der digitalen Technik schwingt ebenso mit.  Alles Herausforderungen, mit denen der europäische Gesetzgeber leider nicht ausreichend umgeht meint Professor Mayer-Schönberger in seinem Vorwort, Datenschutzskepsis.

Speaking to an audience of more than sixty thousand…

speech1On a recent trip to China, Professor Mayer-Schönberger visited famed Chengdu No. 7 Middle School, and spoke about his new book (with Kenneth Cukier) on Big Data and learning in front of a large audience – with satellite audiences throughout China, a total of over sixty thousand participants – the largest audience he ever addressed in one of his presentations.

Privacy by Regulation

APC2015-logo-431x100Giving the closing keynote at this year’s Amsterdam Privacy Conference, Professor Mayer-Schönberger talked emphatically about the need for new mechanisms protecting privacy more effectively especially in light of Big Data. Contracting his view against traditional approaches, such as privacy through individual rights and privacy by design, Mayer-Schönberger suggested that privacy needed to be protected through direct regulation, ex ante risk assessments, and stringent enforcement.

Sonderheft “Big Data”

28600-dg-originalDie deutsche Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) hat zum Thema “Big Data” eine Sondernummer ihrer Zeitschrift “Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte” (APuZ) herausgegeben, in dem eine Reihe von Autoren (darunter auch Professor Mayer-Schönberger) das Thema aus sehr unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln beleuchten. Das Sonderheft ist als APuZ_2015-11-12_online verfügbar und im Sinne der Creative Commons Lizenz auch frei zum Weitergeben.

“Data corrupting education”?

OEB_2-14_DebateAt the 2014 Online Educa in Berlin (Europe’a largest conference on the use of technology in education and learning), Professor Mayer-Schönberger joined George Siemens to advocate in favor of data, with Ellen Wagner and Ignatia Inge deWaad taking the other side. Full of hyperbole and joking, but also serious argument the debate was great fun – and the data advocates won (somewhat expectedly) 70:30!

“Big Data can help us improve the process of learning”

BDE_ChinaIn November 2014, Professor Mayer-Schönberger spoke on the amazing potential of Big Data to improve the process of human learning at Huadong (East China) Normal University in front of an absolutely packed audience of over one thousand, with hundreds patiently waiting outside, and many of them lining up for autographs afterwards. He also talked about possible abuses of Big Data in the education field and warned that without proper understanding and an appropriate set of rules, Big Data might cause irreparable harm rather than improve the education system.

Big Data – Eine neue Sicht der Dinge

Stifterverband_1114Der Stifterverband für die Deutschen Wissenschaft widmete das Villa Hügel Gespräch 2014 der Veränderung der Universitäten durch Digitalisierung und Big Data. Professor Mayer-Schönberger war eingeladen ein Einführungsreferat zu halten. In diesem Kontext entstand auch ein Video-Interview mit ihm zu Big Data als neue Sicht der Dinge – und als neue Quelle menschlicher (und damit auch wissenschaftlicher) Erkenntnis.

Big Data is fundamental

lespressoAn interview in October 2014 on the central importance of Big Data, the role of large data holders such as Google, and the right to be forgotten, with Professor Mayer-Schönberger was published in the Italian journal l’espresso with the knowledgable Antonio Rossano (in Italian). Mayer-Schönberger was in Naples, Italy, to speak at the 2014 Future Forum on the role of Big Data to change our perspective on reality.

“Big Data” now part of Best Writings on Mathematics 2014

An excerpt of our international bestseller “Big Data” has been included in Princeton University Press’ selection of “Best Writings on Mathematics 2014” (edited by Mircea Pitici). “Best Writings on Mathematics” is an annual anthology that has gained rave reviews for bringing together an excellent selection of articles each year. The book’s introduction and its table of contents is available to download for free.

“Aussieben kann nicht Aufgabe von Schule sein”

SZKarin Janker spricht in der Süddeutschen Zeitung (SZ) vom 2.Oktober 2014 mit Professor Mayer-Schönberger über Big Data und Bildung, und warum unsere Gesellschaft darauf achten muss, dass wir Big Data nicht falsch einsetzen. Im Gespräch plädiert er dafür, dass es darum geht den Prozess des Lernens zu verbessern, und nicht Big Data zum exakteren Aussieben junger Menschen zu verwenden. Das Interview wurde im Kontext der Veröffentlichung der deutschsprachigen Ausgabe von “Lernen mit Big Data”, dem neuen Buch von Professor Mayer-Schönberger und Kenneth Cukier geführt.

“Lernen mit Big Data”

LernenmitBDDie deutsche Fassung von “Learning mit Big Data” (verfasst von Professor Mayer-Schönberger und Kenneth Cukier), in der es um Big Data und menschliches Lernen geht, ist Anfang September 2014 beim redline Verlag erschienen. Übersetzt von Andrea Kamphuis (die schon Professor Mayer-Schönbergers preisgekröntes Buch “Delete” ausgezeichnet ins Deutsche übersetzte), beschäftigt sich das kompakte Werk mit der Zukunft der Bildung in Zeiten von Big Data, umfassender digitaler Erinnerungen und ständiger Vorhersagen der Zukunft. Es ist sowohl als Buch als auch als ebook erhältlich, unter anderem bei

Carnegie Council for Ethics in Int Affairs on “Big Data”

CceiaOver the last months, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs has produced two audio broadcasts on the advantages and challenges of the use of Big Data. One broadcast looks at Big Data’s “bright side”, and how it can help inform decision making. The second part looks at Big Data’s dark side, the permanence of the past, and the challenge of an ever more predicted future. Both feature interviews with a number of Big Data experts, including Professor Mayer-Schönberger, are free to listen to, and can also be found on Stitcher.

“Big Data” released in paperback – New Chapter added!

BD_paperbackToday marks the release of the paperback version of the international bestseller “Big Data“, co-authored by Professor Mayer-Schönberger. The new paperback release not only sports a new cover (and a more affordable price), but also a brand new chapter added that focuses on an additional feature of Big Data, a shift from a Boolean to a Bayesian view of the world.

Learning with Big Data

LEARNING_coverProfessor Mayer-Schönberger and Economist journalist Kenneth Cukier have written a new book. Titled “Learning with big Data“, it looks at the role of Big Data in shaping and changing human learning, and our education system. In “Learning with Big Data” the authors detail both the enormous potential of Big Data analysis to improve human learning, and the deeply troubling dark side of possible Big Data abuse in the education field. The book, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is in the format of a so-called ebook Single (about a third of the size of a traditional book), only available as an ebook (through Kindle and other platforms), and very competitively priced at Amazon.

Big Data’s potential dark side in education

THETimes Higher Education (THE) sat down in December 2013 with Professor Mayer-Schönberger in preparation for ONLINE EDUCA 2013 in Berlin, Europe’s largest meeting of digital learning experts, to discuss the role of Big Data in education, and its potential dark sides. In the interview, Professor Mayer-Schönberger warned of probabilistic predictions being used to filter and select students rather than to improve the context in which they learn, suggesting that this would be a dystopian future for education.

“Big Data” finalist for FT Book Award 2013

FTThe Financial Times announced that “Big Data” (co-authored by Professor Mayer-Schönberger and Economist journalist Kenneth N. Cukier) had been selected as one of three finalists of the Financial Times Business Book of the Year award. In a lavish ceremony on November 18, 2013 in London, the decision was announced, together with the choice of Brad Stone’s “The Everything Store” as the winner. Delighted and honored by their success to be author’s of one of the three finalist entries, Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier sent their heartfelt congratulations to Mr Stone.

“Big Data zeigt uns die Welt, wie sie wirklich ist”

ZeitOnlineWenn man sich mit ZEIT ONLINE Journalist Kai Biermann zum Interview trifft ist das immer geistreich – und spannend. In seinen Fragen bringt er die Dinge, wie wenige seiner Zunft, auf den Punkt. So auch hier – als er mit Professor Mayer-Schönberger den zentralen Kern von Big Data herausarbeitet, und damit auch die Schattenseite dieser Entwicklung offenkundig macht.

“Big Data” shortlisted for FT Best Business Book Award

FTThe Financial Times announced on September 23, 2013 that Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s recent book “Big Data” (co-authored with Kenn Cukier) has been shortlisted for the FT / Goldman Sachs business book of the year award 2013. The shortlist has been drawn from a long list that filtered many hundreds of nominations. The winner will be announced at an award gala in November in London.

“illuminating and timely”

nytlogo152x23Michiko Kakutani, one of the publishing world’s most respected book reviewer, has read “Big Data” , the new bestselling book by Professor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, and really liked it. In her erudite and comprehensive review published in the New York Times, on June 10, 2013, she writes that with big data the nature of surveillance has changed, pointing to one of the fundamental dark sides of big data that “Big Data” talked about.

The Trust-Busting NSA-Disaster

TheguardianThe Guardian reported this week on the latest NSA mass surveillance revelations, quoting Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s notion that the large US Internet companies, such as Google, Twitter and Facebook have potentially lost what is most valuable and most difficult to regain, the trust of their customers around the world to vigilantly guard their data rather than cooperating with the NSA. If left unaddressed, this might turn into a lasting competitive disadvantage for these firms and for the US digital economy.

Forbes’ Gil Press Reviews “Big Data”

Forbes_logo.svgGil Press, whose thoughtful columns on “” have created a large and loyal following among data analytic experts, interviewed Professor Mayer-Schönberger and his co-author Kenneth Cukier on “Big Data”, and is also reviewing it, giving it a strong nod of approval: “Big Data will be the defining text in the discussion for some time to come.” Read the full review here.

The Future of “Notice and Consent”

Together with noted privacy expert Professor Fred Cate (Indiana University), Professor Mayer-Schönberger has just published a new article (Fred H. Cate & Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Notice and consent in a world of Big Data, International Data Privacy Law 2013 3: 67-73), focused on the future of “notice and consent”, a key mechanism of how we currently protect personal data, as we move towards a Big Data society. In the article, professors Cate and Mayer-Schönberger explain why “notice and consent” is losing much of its effectiveness, and if left unchanged will end up stifling our ability to live with data rather than enhance it. They suggest that rather focusing on a formalistic quasi-individualistic mechanism at the point of collecting data, it is far better to secure personal privacy by limiting certain uses of personal data.