Big Privacy report cover“Big Privacy”, a fresh pact between data miners and end users regarding the collection and utilization of data

Requests Big Data businesses exercise restraint and transparency, and offer consumers fair value for data

San Francisco, CA - April 11, 2014 - Constellation Research, Inc. the research and advisory firm focused how disruptive technologies transform business models announced today the publication of “Big Privacy Rises to the Challenges of Big Data” by Constellation Vice President and Principal Analyst, Steve Wilson. This ‘Big Idea’ research report introduces “Big Privacy” - a new pact between data miners and end users that calls on digital businesses to exercise restraint and transparency in their collection activities, and offer end users fair value for their data. 

Wilson’s report identifies the strengths and weaknesses of today’s Data Privacy rules, citing how the dynamic nature of modern Big Data challenges the static nature of conventional data protection. The benefits of “Big Privacy” extend beyond the consumer. Wilson notes, ““Big Privacy” benefits digital businesses as adoption of this pact helps avoid privacy breaches, and maintain the trust of an increasingly anxious customer base”.

This report reveals:

  • Many Big Data and digital businesses collect and analyze data on the assumption that raw data in the "public domain" is up for grabs, and that data collectors own the fruits of data mining. However, ownership is irrelevant, and data analytics results are still subject to Privacy Laws. 
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is often interpreted narrowly to mean credit card data or health records. However, in most jurisdictions (even the United States) PII is defined very broadly, and can include raw data even before it is identified.
  • There is no prohibition anywhere against collecting PII; “Big Privacy” calls on businesses to engage in fair and transparent collection.
  • Privacy-savvy organizations appreciate that Big Data must benefit the business and the end user.  To maintain customer trust and to avoid international compliance risks, Constellation calls for a new data privacy pact, “Big Privacy”:  
  1. businesses should be restrained in how they use data analytics
  2. honor the value of users’ Personal Information
  3. be open about Big Data business models.


Comments on the report – Steve Wilson, report author, Vice President and Principal Analyst

“In my advisory work over the years I've found time and time again a blind spot among technologists as to data privacy. There is a well-meaning slogan ‘Privacy is not a Technology Issue’ but technologists too often think that means privacy is not for them.  The misconception is amplified by a bit of a myth (or wishful thinking) that the law has not kept up with the technology. It’s really very surprising how technology-neutral data privacy laws deal neatly with so many of the current controversies in cyberspace – like face recognition, natural language processing, DNA hacking, Augmented Reality, and so on. Privacy design principles like Data Minimization have a great deal in common with information security. So there’s a lot here for IT professionals to sink their teeth into. I’m really optimistic that we can help innovators see privacy in a clear new light. Surely we have to get this right as we plunge into Big Data and the Internet of Things.”

This report fits into Constellation’s business-focused research themes of Data to Decisions, Matrix Commerce and Next Gen Customer.

About Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson is Vice President and Principal Analyst covering digital identity, privacy and cyber security. Steve’s current research focuses on the evolution of identity online, the move from static privacy safeguards to dynamic information safety, and the challenges of Big Data and the Internet of Things

Geo: Sydney, Australia

The Report
“Big Privacy Rises to the Challenges of Big Data”