Shatter calls for practical data protection rules


Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has called for “a coherent and practical set of data protection rules at National and European Union levels” to deal with the new and increasingly common risks for privacy that are arising from technological advances.
Speaking at a conference on big data at Croke Park, Mr Shatter emphasised the importance of ensuring “that data protection standards keep pace with the emerging technologies and new business modals”.
He said progressing the new EU data protection regulation and securing agreement on its content was a priority of the Irish Presidency of the European Union.
Mr Shatter also highlighted plans by the State broadcaster to use big data to “open up the wealth of treasures” in the RTÉ Archives”.
Big data involves processing large amounts of information. The challenge is to turn the vast quantities of ubiquitous raw data into knowledge that will inform people and improve society, business, and health.
RTÉ, in collaboration with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute and the Digital Repository of Ireland, says it will develop an innovative semantic content discovery platform, and use big data analytical tools to unleash the secrets of its archives.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said big data will have a huge societal impact with projects such as the one to explore the RTÉ Archives, and would open up avenues to investigate cultural, historical, sporting and linguistic heritage and provide us with deep insights into what it means to be Irish.
“Analysing this explosion of data will revolutionise industries such as manufacturing and pharmaceutical production to further develop Europe's data economy and create good sustainable jobs in Ireland,” he sadded.
Bríd Dooley, head of RTÉ Archives, said the archives were a national resource and a hugely valuable asset to the public.
“Our vision is to enable RTÉ to further step-change its ability to meet audience needs and to provide a much richer discovery, analysis and access gateway to this culturally and historically important material through digital means.”

Publication Date

April 9th 2013


The Irish Times