Big data refers to the collection and aggregation of large quantities of data produced by and about people, things or the interactions between them. With the advent of cloud computing, specialised data centres with powerful computational hardware and software resources can be used for processing and analysing a humongous amount of aggregated data coming from a variety of different sources. The analysis of such data is all the more valuable to the extent that it allows for specific patterns to be found and new correlations to be made between different datasets, so as to eventually deduce or infer new information, as well as to potentially predict behaviours or assess the likelihood for a certain event to occur. This article will focus specifically on the legal and moral obligations of online operators collecting and processing large amounts of data, to investigate the potential implications of big data analysis on the privacy of individual users and on society as a whole.
Big data Cloud computing Intermediary liability Predictive analysis Open data Quantified self Privacy