World Economic Forum: Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage

In February 2013, the World Economic Forum has published a report on "Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage" prepared in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group. The Report examines the need for new approaches in the policies which enable the managing of personal data in ways that are flexible, adaptive and contextually driven. The report highlights outcomes from a nine month, multistakeholder, global dialogue on how the principles for using personal data may need to be refreshed to ensure they protect the rights of individuals, unlock socio-economic value and are fit for the complexities of a hyperconnected world.

Future Use of Data

A key insight from the Report notes that the age of Big Data creates both new opportunities and risks, particularly as they relate to the privacy of individuals.  The Report highlights the need to shift to policy frameworks focused on the usage of data (rather than pre-emptively governing the data itself), the importance of context, and the need to find new ways to engage the individual. As it relates to engaging the individual, moving beyond current notice and consent practices is identified as one of the key priorities for global leaders to focus upon.


The report calls for the importance of establishing an updated set of principles and the means to uphold them in a hyperconnected world.  In this light, there is a need to raise awareness on how technology can play a role in upholding principles by allowing permissions to flow with the data.  Lastly, the report calls for greater evidence and “learning labs” for understanding the impact of when policies are implemented in the real-world.

Consensus on Future Rules Governing Personal Data

In creating this report, the World Economic Forum convened a global dialogue through a series of workshops across Asia, Europe and the US on the principles to unlock the value of personal data.

A general consensus emerged from this dialogue that the rules governing personal data need to be flexible enough to enable new business models, accommodate technology evolution, enable user trust and meet the requirements for user transparency. Shared principles have been a core part of the governance of personal data for many decades. Principles can serve as the anchor points for global governance and strengthen accountability, predictability and trust.

Report "Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage" by World Economic Forum, February 2013

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 04.04.2013 18:17

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