Is big data our friend or foe?

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In January our office hosted a panel at the 11th Annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference entitled ‘Big Data: Friend or Foe for Consumers and Competition Policy?’.

The panel analysed the linkages between big data, privacy and competition and the effect on the consumer of those linkages. Particular attention was paid to the question of enforcement regimes, and what the landscape for enforcement is in Europe – do the competition authorities currently have the right tools to take on privacy matters? Do we need new rules and more regulation? Can competition law adapt to new phenomena? Are DPA’s the solution? Do we need closer collaboration between regulating entities? 

The general consensus of the panel was that the creation of new rules and regulation is not the answer, and we do have the right tools we just need to think about refining them and be more creative in our approach. A key message from the panel was that we need closer collaboration between regulating authorities in across consumer, privacy and competition.

We were pleased to host Rachel Bickler, Of Counsel from CMS as our Chair and Jeremy Rollison, Director of EU Government Affairs from Microsoft as our Moderator. The panel included Nico van Eijk from the Centre of Information Law and the University of Amsterdam, Ralf Bendrath, Senior Adviser to the Office of Jan Albrecht MEP, Raegan MacDonald, Head of EU Public Policy at Mozilla and Cyril Ritter from DG Competition.

You can watch the entire session here.

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The Law Societies' Brussels Office monitors developments and represents the profession in negotiations with the European institutions.

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