Mr President, we live in the midst of a data revolution. I recently visited CERN, where their data centre processes the equivalent of 210 000 DVDs’ worth of data every single day.
Tidal waves of information are generated as we log on to websites, buy train tickets or make a cash withdrawal.
With big data come big opportunities. Properly used, this data has the power to transform the smarter, more personalised public services, to better inform decisions, increase efficiency and unlock new ground-breaking research.
Of course, people have legitimate privacy concerns, and we have seen what happens when people feel they have not consented to the changes they see around them.
This is why I welcome this report and the safeguards that it recommends. With big data come big challenges and big responsibilities for legislators.