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.

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.

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.

Mayer-Schönberger in the California Law Review

Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s paper “Beyond Privacy, Beyond Rights – Towards a ‘Systems’ Theory of Information Governance” was recently published in the prestigious California Law Review. In this article, Mayer-Schönberger offers a critique of strategies of information governance that are based on the rights of the individual. A full copy of the article is available for download here, in pdf format.