Last week, Menno Weij and I joined a breakfast session on big data organised by Dutch financial daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) and business intelligence provider MicroStrategy. Chief information officers of various large companies, in particular from the financial community, gathered to discuss the opportunities and bottlenecks of big data. SOLV provided legal commentary.
The main conclusion from the debate is that clients/data subjects should not be lost sight of. A big-data project is far more likely to succeed if it is made to benefit clients directly (for instance, by means of a discount). There is a legal advantage to that as well: clients who benefit from the project will more readily consent to their personal data being processed. In fact, obtaining permission and being transparent about what you intend to do with collected data means you can do practically anything.
A comprehensive account of the session (in Dutch), including a video compilation, is available here.