Since the emergence of big data, the focus on collecting, managing and analyzing legitimate and transparent data is greater than ever.
To better protect the well-being of their citizens, ensure national security, and preserve their sovereignty and competitiveness, governments around the world have introduced privacy laws and data protection regulations.
However, in its new white paper, “Data Governance: Definitions, Challenges, and a Universal Framework,” global technology watch firm ABI Research argues that current laws and regulations don’t go far enough.
The researchers claim that a new universal data governance framework needs to be introduced to meet data governance needs in emerging technologies.
At the start of the internet age, most of the data entered into databases was personally identifiable information (PII) and metadata. Released in 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a groundbreaking regulation that dictates and governs how European Union citizens’ PII is used, stored, and shared.
Since its formulation, public agencies, private companies and non-governmental organizations have established internal data governance practices to comply with GDPR and similar regulations.
This includes the General Data Protection Law of Brazil, the Chinese Personal Information Protection Law, the Japanese Personal Information Protection Law and the South African Personal Information Protection Law.
ABI Research Senior Analyst Lian Jye Su said, “Despite all efforts, the global regulatory environment remains highly fragmented. A good example is the United States. There is no common consensus for managing PII among different states and industry players. Navigating through all these regulatory requirements in different jurisdictions is time consuming and exhausting.
“Furthermore, the classification of new PII, such as audio recordings and IP addresses, remains unclear. A new government data framework that introduces a broader definition of PII can go a long way to protecting customer rights and privacy.
“As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and the flow of information moves rapidly to digital platforms, this data does not respect national borders. A universally accepted and well-defined government data framework can reduce regulatory complexity and removing barriers to adoption.”
More importantly, most of these regulations are not permanent, say the researchers. From 2022, all data protection regulations will focus on PII.
While PII remains critical for certain verticals such as social media, sales and marketing, banking and finance, other companies deal with an increasing amount of machine-generated data, geospatial data and synthetic data. for emerging technologies, such as real-time location. Services (RTLS), cloud and edge AI applications, autonomous driving, digital twin and metaverse.
As companies adopt and deploy these technologies in their day-to-day operations, they are also adopting advanced data management and processing techniques.
A universal data governance framework can introduce regulations to prevent misuse of data types beyond PII. The framework can guide companies on the right mechanism when dealing with large-scale and distributed data collection, processing, and storage. It can also help ensure the identification, accessibility, interoperability and reuse of data, says Su.
Su says, “Ideally, this new data governance framework is designed by an internationally recognized standards development organization, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
“Furthermore, it must be universally accepted, forward-looking, and focused on fairness, equality, and data sovereignty. Emerging technologies have proven to be great tools for eliminating economic inequality, promoting digital literacy and accessibility and empowering marginalized communities.
“However, the way they collect and store data raises legitimate concerns about data sovereignty, abusive business practices and cybersecurity. Therefore, the industry must work together to develop a universal data governance framework that can minimize these concerns and allow the technologies to reach their full potential.”