Privacy Issues and Data Protection in Big Data: A Case Study Analysis under GDPR

Nils Gruschka, Vasileios Mavroeidis, Kamer Vishi, Meiko Jensen

Big data has become a great asset for many organizations, promising improved operations and new business opportunities. However, big data has increased access to sensitive information that when processed can directly jeopardize the privacy of individuals and violate data protection laws. As a consequence, data controllers and data processors may be imposed tough penalties for non-compliance that can result even to bankruptcy. In this paper, we discuss the current state of the legal regulations and analyze different data protection and privacy-preserving techniques in the context of big data analysis. In addition, we present and analyze two real-life research projects as case studies dealing with sensitive data and actions for complying with the data regulation laws. We show which types of information might become a privacy risk, the employed privacy-preserving techniques in accordance with the legal requirements, and the influence of these techniques on the data processing phase and the research results.

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