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The Future of Big Data Governance

AcxiomMay 12, 2015

The Information Accountability Foundation [http://informationaccountability.org], a group that develops guidance for accountability based information governance through collaboration with governments, enforcement agencies, business and civil society around the world does significant work in the area of Big Data Analytics; and Acxiom is an active partner with them on project to establish Big Data governance.

While all types of Big Data Analytics projects provide unprecedented opportunities to drive information-based innovation in every discipline, as regulators frequently point out, Big Data also creates risk to both individuals and society unless effective information governance is in place that considers the benefits and risks to the individual as well as for the parties generating and activating Big Data insights.

To establish Big Data governance, the Foundation launched a project to create a common ethical framework based on key ethical values and an interrogation framework to support it. The latter consists of a set of key questions to be asked and answered to identify significant issues that must be dealt with when assessing big data projects by both industry and regulators.  The Foundation’s interrogation framework is intended to be customized (at least at the industry level and possibly down to the company level).

Initial versions of both the Unified Ethical Framework and the general Interrogation Questions are complete and can be found on the Foundation’s website. The Unified Ethical Framework can be found at http://informationaccountability.org/wp-content/uploads/IAF-Unified-Ethical-Frame-v1-08-October-2014.pdf. The Interrogation Questions can be found at

http://informationaccountability.org/wp-content/uploads/IAF-Big-Data-Ethics-Initiative-Draft-Part-B-Final-03-03-2015.pdf.

Subsequent initiatives around how such a framework would be enforced and development of industry or sector specific interrogation models are underway.

Stay tuned. Although these rich new streams of data offer unparalleled opportunity for marketers, governance over how the data is collected, integrated and activated is paramount. Its clear regulators and industries will be paying attention, and equally as important consumers are too. The latter by bestowing trust and loyalty to a brand or by brand abandonment.