Data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change. Flows of data have created new infrastructure, new businesses, new monopolies, new politics and—crucially—new economics. Digital information is unlike any previous resource; it is extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways. It changes the rules for markets and it demands new approaches from regulators.
Non-tech firms are trying to sink digital wells, too. GE, for instance, has developed an “operating system for the industrial internet”, called Predix, to help customers control their machinery.
But “data portability”, as well as data sharing, highlights policy problems: e.g. the tension between data markets and privacy. If personal data are traded or shared they are more likely to leak. To reduce this risk, the GDPR (EU’s 2016/679 General Data Protection Regulation) strengthens people’s control over their data: it requires that firms get explicit consent for how they use data. Fines for violations will be steep: up to 4% of global revenues or €20m ($22m).
Another challenge is to get hold of data that are not consumer driven, but B2B driven, given the complex and non-standardized way e.g. ERP systems are handling process related data today.
Read this insightful article from The Economist