Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (one followed by 18 zeros), which is equivalent to 57.5 billion 32 GB iPads. Data is much of a big and voracious eel: it is exponentially growing and it moves fast and slips away from one place to another. People like us – normal people, and not great hackers – cannot really control it.
“You can’t stem this tide, sailor!”
It simply comes from everywhere, even from us. It comes from the sensors used to gather climate information, cell phone GPS signals and purchase transaction records; it also comes from our silly tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook and digital pictures or videos in the cloud, just to name a few.
This data is called “big data”. Probably “big” enough to seem challenging even for EU reforms on data protection, which is our greatest concern nowadays.
Whereas the right to data protection could be found in both national constitutions and the EU’s Charter on Fundamental Rights, as well as in the Treaty of Lisbon, the new focus on privacy rights is the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Obviously, it is not the data protection directive 95/46/EC already in force, which in comparison with the GDPR would be retrograde and inadequate for our technological and political purposes.
Indeed, it would be also applied to non-EU-based data controllers who offer services within the Union, such as Google. For the next five years, in fact, the dialogue between the Silicon Valley, as the center of modern technologies, and Brussels, as the gravity center of political rules, would be the core of the international disquisition regarding data security. Google, as well as all the other multinational giants on the internet playing on the international chessboard of politics, will not provide further information about the citizens of the EU’s countries to the US.
secret services without the explicit consent of European authorities. If they violate the EU-parliament-approved rules, they will incur an effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalty or, to put it another way, they will have to pay a fine between a hundred “million-euros-baby” and 5% of their international traffic.
Information’s bulimic appetite does not do any good to anybody, right?
By Alessia Sofia Giorgiutti