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Data laws in the data age

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The need for data has quickly become a key topic related to all aspects of our evolving digital society.
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The need for data has quickly become a key topic related to all aspects of our evolving digital society. This is evident in the field of artificial intelligence, which promises to bring about radical changes in society and governments together. Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are using artificial intelligence to train computers to recognize material in images and understand human language. This is possible thanks to the vast amount of data we have. The same applies to all forms of machine learning, smart manufacturing, and technology-driven trends that will shape the future ahead. However, all these trends depend on data and their quality depends on the data they process, Data thus becomes a source of wealth and public value. In this context, We can say that the value of the data goes beyond being "new oil", It is the lifeblood of the digital society. A company that operates without accurate data is like walking without a compass. This is especially true for the government sector (especially in light of the growing shortage of government funding).

Today, private companies control a large volume of data in the world (such as IT sectors, telecommunications companies, retail companies). Some of them have been able, Like Google and Facebook, of making money from this data and building its operating model on it. Other companies such as Uber and AirBnB have used the data to develop platforms that have transformed the industries in which they operate. So far, People provide their data free of charge for technical services (such as email); But this will not last long. Operational models are currently under development to find ways to start paying people for the data they provide in their daily lives. This makes us witness to the emergence of a promising sector full of opportunities but lacking appropriate legislation.

In the age of data, questions come to mind: Who owns the data? And who should have it (given that it is a key element in the future of our digital society)? Should we create a basic data charter so that individuals can understand their rights and responsibilities? Who is responsible for the quality and security of our data? How do we control and ensure privacy? Finally, Will individuals continue to provide data without being charged?

Most of this data remains the private domain of companies, governments and others. Which limits its overall value. Due to the implications of the rules governing data, Governments play an important role in establishing and regulating the data market. Data has become a new social good and governments should consider introducing data responsibility laws that require the private sector and other data owners to collect, manage and share data in a timely manner, let alone protect it. These laws should include open and big data management systems of governments and all stakeholders (regardless of the nature of their responsibility or other regulatory rules). In this regard, The European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2019, which will change the way data is managed across sectors and redefine the roles of corporate directors. The objectives of the regulation are to unify data laws in various European countries, protect and enable data privacy for all EU citizens and redefine the way data privacy is protected in the region.

Governments have the task of reviewing large numbers of laws, It is undoubtedly fraught with challenges. In light of the decline in the confidence of members of society in governments, Other challenges stand in the application of governance principles to cyberspace. Governments need to gain a full understanding of all parts of the data value chain to develop appropriate laws, This starts with the unification and enforcement of laws related to privacy and protection against data breaches, to laws that guarantee network neutrality and data flow. Today, Discussions about the future of big data are based on the assumption that the Internet will remain a series of open networks in which data flows easily. Some countries have begun to restrict their Internet systems, putting the concept of net neutrality to the test. This casts a shadow over the potential of big data that will not be fully realized if the Internet becomes a series of closed networks.

Governments must also develop their capacity to effectively engage community members, both service providers and users. This can only be done by creating an open data culture, a point that governments have embarked on with varying degrees of success. The involvement of community members is not intended at the traditional level of communication with the government, It is more like an open, participatory and responsive platform between the government and the customer.

As the example of the European Union demonstrates, Countries are taking further steps to protect data, laws and legislation. Once these laws enter into force, Government entities that have not prepared to keep up with changes in data governance laws and principles will face very negative impacts. Therefore, it is important for government entities to start preparing a data strategy and gain the ability to search, discover and review the data they currently have. It is a key skill that enables it to comply with new privacy laws and a starting point for modernization and digital transformation initiatives in the IT sector.

Sources of some of the information contained in the last paragraph:

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