New “Arms” Race: Your Privacy, Big Data, and Security

The Atlantic Council and Thomson Reuters recently published “Big Data: A Twenty-First Century Arms Race”, a manifest on how we should deal with the increasingly unpredictable and evolving security landscape at hand. For the five subject matter experts that delve into this topic, the big data revolution and its untapped capabilities offers a knight-in-shining-armor solution.

That’s not to say that this armor doesn’t need a little polishing. The goal is to “maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of government and business, while minimizing modern risks” from the perspectives of security, finance, and law. But where and how should (and does) privacy fit into this framework? For author Els de Busser, states do and should remain in control of ultimately protecting the privacy of their citizens, but increased and intensive international cooperation between the intelligence community, law enforcement, and private sector will yield the greatest results. While ad hoc agreements have proved to be sluggish, creating a new framework of international guidelines which hinges on request-based cooperation could breathe new life and performance into this stagnant system.

The report contains five excellent chapters (as follows), each a stand alone publication in their own right:

“Big Data: The Conflict Between Protecting Privacy and Securing Nations”

“Big Data: Exploring the Risks from Within”

“Big Data: The Latest Tool in Fighting Crime”

“Big Data: Tackling Illicit Financial Flows”

“Big Data: Mitigating Financial Crime Risk”

The Atlantic Council hosted a conference on the publication of the report, and the webcast is available here.