Privacy by design creator and former Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian and Dorsey & Whitney Partner Melissa Krasnow spoke about the possibilities and challenges of big data from a business perspective at the International Association of Privacy Professionals annual meeting in Toronto.
Both speakers expressed optimism about big data’s potential, and while they warned that privacy concerns must be addressed at the outset, privacy isn’t a hindrance for big data analytics and can even improve business models, they said.
“Privacy will give you a competitive advantage because it will benefit you from a business perspective,” Cavoukian said.
Barbara Yuill, news director for intellectual property/privacy and data security/tech and telecom at Bloomberg BNA, highlighted the potential downside of big data analytics with an anecdote about a company that was able to predict when particular female employees will get pregnant.
But as Krasnow emphasized, ethics and fairness must always play a major role in companies’ decisions on how to utilize big data.
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