The Big Data Challenge – Recommendations by Mercè Crosas – Big Data Value

“Currently, Mercè’s team is in the process of implementing datatags for datasets in the Harvard Dataverse repository. This has been a big task due to legal compliance issues, security requirements and the conditions set by various data agreements. These datasets often contain sensitive information about individuals and therefore safeguards need to be put in place to protect these individuals. Policies on data sharing play a critical role in balancing the benefits and risks. The average citizen wants privacy and safety of his data but has little time for data governance. As the amount of data driven products is only expected to increase, so is the demand of citizens for privacy management. It is important to map the data beforehand because the manner in which relevant regulation is to be attached to the data is dependent on the data itself. When regulation changes, the datatags will have to be adopted as well, for instance by providing an updated version of the tag. For these purposes, they teamed up with lawyers helping them with the verification of the datatags. More recently, Mercè has been involved with the OpenDP project as one of the co-PIs, an open-source platform for differential privacy libraries. This work would allow to mine and analyze sensitive datasets while preserving their privacy and never been accessed directly by the researchers. Dataverse, DataTags, and OpenDP will together provide a privacy-preserving platform for sharing and analyzing sensitive data….”