Ownership, Control and Transparency in a Big Data Society
Information technologies are transforming our society at what seems to be an accelerating pace. Data and information play a central role in all aspects of our lives—and their role is growing as digital sensors transform our actions into new data. While this may bring many benefits, it also poses significant risks and challenges.
Big data and artificial intelligence dominate headlines with stories aboutself-driving cars, “smart” appliances and digital personal assistants. At the same time, we are being told about massive data security breaches, state intrusions on privacy rights, digital profiling, surveillance and discrimination through the use of big data.
As Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, Dr. Teresa Scassa’s work explores the interrelated concepts of ownership, control and transparency in this rapidly evolving information context. She and her research team are examining how claims to ownership of data and information are asserted, by whom, and on what basis. They are also exploring questions about the rights involved in access to and use of data in the hands of others, and about how to achieve transparency in data-driven decision-making in the public and private sectors.
Through her research, Scassa seeks to ensure the development of legal frameworks for data and information that are sensitive to the needs and concerns of multiple stakeholders, and that ensure appropriate levels of transparency and access in an increasingly data-driven society.