Strict Laws, Data and Data Users

Brief - there’s a new law which is around the corner, and would be applied to businesses which collect and process European citizen’s data - GDPR. The industry is a bit shaken at the moment, while even without that law, Mark Zuckerberg had to face a hearing with senator recently. Beyond that, there’s more happening in near future.

This law affects Data Science, since it lays down new rules and requirements for businesses to store, process, transfer and analyze data. The regulation is one of the strictest, and most far-reaching data laws to date. It governs everything from storage and portability of data, through portability and consent of use.

How it affects Data Scientists?

One example is Profiling, or the Scoring we have talked about in a previous blog mentioning logistic regression.There are limits imposed on the ways businesses profile customers, and process personal data. Depending on how you define it, that’s a huge part of data scientist’s job.

E.g. if profiling occurs, then an organization must notify the person involved, list consequences and an option to opt out.

Data scientist’s challenge - as any perceived bias within algorithms is likely to breach GDPR. If you didn’t already know, any breach of GDPR can result in a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover (whichever is greater).

With Consent, Data may decrease for Data Scientists

Under GDPR, businesses will no longer be able to hide behind technical language that confuses consumers. Language will have to be simple for the general public to understand. If the data belongs to a child, then the language will need to be so simple that it can be understood by them and their parents, easily.

GDPR is going to impact data science in a big way, and the degree to which is affects individual data scientists largely depends on the type of work they are doing – and for what company or department. Those working in marketing are possibly going to have the toughest time.


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