The regulatory concepts involved with big data are still extremely new, as the technology has not been in the mainstream for more than a couple of years and laws take a while to formulate and pass in any nation. The most obvious legislative concern about big data has been privacy thus far, as one breach of a massive storage environment that has not been properly protected can be disastrous for consumers. Additionally, officials have begun to discuss the prospect of forcing businesses to make data anonymous.
This would essentially mean that data mining would never incorporate names or other personally identifiable information of the individuals who were involved in the generation of the files. Many companies already state that they do this, but due to a relative lack of pertinent regulatory compliance statutes and enforcement procedures, it is hard to tell where the world stands on this point. Now, European officials are beginning to ask another question about big data that is somewhat new and could impact analytics users around the globe.
Will monopolies manifest?
Computerworld recently reported that the chief of competition for the European Commission has formally indicated that she is concerned about the antitrust implications of the current big data marketplace. According to the news provider, Margrethe Vestager does not believe that this issue has already started to occur, but thinks that, due to the power of big data, analytics might eventually be a tool wielded by corporate executives to create monopolies over their industries.
“But if just a few companies control the data you need to satisfy customers and cut costs, that could give them the power to drive their rivals out of the market,” Computerworld cited from Vestager’s commentary. “And with less competition, there’s a risk that there won’t be enough incentive for companies to keep using big data to serve customers better.”
Interestingly, although big data was not nearly as hot a topic back in 2007, the source pointed out that antitrust concerns were indeed raised that year following major mergers and acquisitions involving tech giants Facebook and Google. Those two instances were pushed through, but officials appear to be questioning the dangers of these types of corporate purchases as they relate to data acquisition.
Implications for the U.S.
The global economy has been advantageous in many situations for businesses of all sizes throughout the past several years, but legislation going into international territory can prove to be a proverbial minefield. The European Union has been working on a range of more complex regulatory compliance statutes for technology matters, and the United States has been equally active as well.
To ensure that big data programs are advantageous and do not present the threat of disruption due to poor handling of regulatory responsibilities, companies might want to enlist the support of a managed service provider that can assist in these matters.