On 24 January, at the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference in Brussels, Belgium, Data Pitch run a panel on data protection and innovation acceleration.
The panel was chaired by Malte Beyer-Katzenberger from the  European Commission (DG-CNECT) and moderated by Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon(University of Southampton). The panel bought together Gwendal le Grand, representing the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL); Gary Lafever from Anonos (US); Bashara Hinnawi from Beta-i (Portugal), Paul Francis from Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Alison Knight (University of Southampton).

The panel discussed issues around data protection and open data innovation, i.e. bringing together corporate and public sector organisations wanting to discover the untapped opportunity in their data, on the one hand, together with the skills of startups and SMEs exploring such data on the other and addressed the following questions:

  • How can we overcome legal and technical obstacles to unleash the full potential of closed datasets through data sharing in order to promote open innovation?
  • How does data protection and privacy laws impact upon closed data sharing practices?
  • To what extent are anonymisation and pseudonymisation solutions crucial in a closed environment and for open innovation acceleration?
It emerged from the discussion that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was in the main very much welcome as a means to level the playing field and create trust between parties, e.g. data providers and startups engaged in data innovation.