On February 28, 2013, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP (the “Centre”) announced the release of “Big Data and Analytics: Seeking Foundations for Effective Privacy Guidance,” a paper intended to help organizations and policymakers develop a governance framework for using analytics in a way that protects privacy and promotes innovation. The paper, which is the product of an industry-sponsored initiative led by the Centre, suggests a two-phase approach that separates how organizations discover what data can reveal from how those insights are applied to knowledge development and decisionmaking. This approach lays the foundation for workable, effective governance.
The paper offers three real-life examples of how Big Data processes are implemented. Each example describes the data used, the data analysis process and how the algorithm is applied, the resulting benefits, and how risks to individuals are mitigated. The examples in the paper illustrate how Big Data processing occurs and help frame the challenges to analytics and Big Data raised by existing laws, regulations and traditional notions regarding fair information practices. Finally, the paper details the proposed two-phase approach to processing that would require organizations to conduct risk assessments both when data is examined to explore trends, and again when the data is used in applications.