Big Data, Law & Regulating Big Data

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The term “Big Data” has been labelled amongst other things as a buzzword or a new-age “marketing term”[i], but a reading of the World Economic Forum’s write up on Big Data clarifies that Big Data is not a “new or isolated phenomenon”, but another phase (albeit a rather crucial phase that will change the way businesses and society functions) in a long evolution of how data is captured and used[ii]. But first, what is Big Data? Simply put, Big Data refers to very large and often complex sets of data that are so large in size that conventional software tools long used to analyse such data are no longer capable of handling such Big Data[iii]. Most literature[iv] on Big Data, distinguishes Big Data from other data and more specifically previous data analytics movements by four characteristics: Volume, Velocity, Variety & Veracity. Volume: This is the most apparent and best-known factor of all and refers to the large amounts of data that are constantly being produced by various entities (individuals, corporations and governments, etc). Though already mentioned, it is imperative to reiterate that the present generation / production of data is so complex and large that conventional data analytical …

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