EU data economy: legal, ethical & social issues

By Julien Debussche, Jasmien César


Do the privacy concepts of the GDPR fit with big data? Can anonymisation be used to maintain an acceptable level of predictability and utility of big data analytics? Is the current legal framework around data ownership satisfactory?

This publication presents the main legal, ethical and social issues predominantly relevant in an EU data-driven context. It is particularly pertinent in the context of big data, but the findings also apply to other disruptive technologies that heavily rely on data, such as the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence.

In order to provide practical examples or to contextualise our theoretical observations, several illustrations related to the transport sector are included throughout this publication. The findings however apply to many other sectors.

The issues related to data in the EU are constantly developing and will continue to evolve as the data economy remains at the centre of attention in the next EU legislature. Therefore, although the different Chapters of this publication are likely to require regular updates, they nonetheless aim to serve as a basis for further discussions on the 16 topics covered, with the ultimate aim of improving the general framework related to data.

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