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Is Big Data a National Asset or a Commodity?
1 June 2017

Not only has the term ‘big data’ become a part of today’s business vocabulary, it is a new reality for companies. The widespread use of new gadgets and Internet services, together with the development of cloud technologies and the Internet of Things, has facilitated the collection of huge data sets, including user data and detailed information about Internet users. The analysis and application of this data has become a new source of growth for many businesses, and even entire sectors. For companies which gather data, trading raw and processed data has become essential, sometimes representing a major part of their income. People have begun to call big data ‘the new oil’. What kind of role does big data play in the incipient digital economy? Is this ‘oil’ simply a new commodity? Or, to continue the analogy with natural resources, is it an asset owned by the whole nation? How can opportunities for business growth be combined with social responsibility? How can we avoid infringing the right to a private life when building this new economy? What kind of balance should be struck between state regulation and self-regulation of the business community?

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