European Union Article 29 Working Party issues opinion on big data use

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On 2 April 2013, the European Union Article 29 Working Party issued an opinion that will have important ramifications for all those involved in processing personal data in the EU. In particular, it will have a major impact on the trend towards the use of big data. Big data is the use of large digital data sets for various analytical purposes — which may include analysis for purposes other than that for which the data was originally collated.

The Working Party was set up under the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) (the Directive) and is made up of representatives from each of the data protection authorities in each EU member state together with representatives of the European Commission and the European Data Protection Supervisor. Its Opinions do not have force of law but are highly influential given its composition. Given the current negotiations on the draft General Data Protection Regulation (which is intended to replace the Directive), this Opinion is highly relevant…

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