Productivity commission launches Big Data enquiry

Productivity commission launches Big Data enquiry

Calls on Government, enterprise and academics to contribute

The Australian Productivity Commission will launch a new public enquiry on Data Availability and Use.

The inquiry will seek to explore the benefits of providing greater access for third parties to Big Data holdings, public and private, and consider new models for making data available.

The inquiry will also consider current policies and regulations in place to protect the legitimate interests of individuals and businesses in privacy and confidentiality, and consider whether they remain fit for purpose.

It has called on academics, government agencies, private entities with large data holdings, organisations interested in data access and members of the community to contribute to the inquiry.

The Productivity Commission will release a draft report later this year, with a final report to be delivered to Government in March 2017.

Productivity Commission chairman, Peter Harris, said, “The significant evolution in data collection and analysis seen in recent times suggests that the culture, standards and policy structures that have applied to what is commonly called Big Data analytics may need to move out of the back room and into the showroom if community confidence and wide opportunity for innovation are to be maximised.”

The commission said the way Big Data is being used or not used presents new opportunities and new risks.

The Commission will look at both principles and practical reform opportunities in response to developing trends across national and international markets, designed to position Australia to lift its performance in safe, high-utility release of public data sets; and the basis for more effective use of private data sets while maintaining the commercial incentives for data collection and provision.

The Commission said it is conscious that the subject matter of this Inquiry is virtually without boundaries. It added data is core to the development and delivery of most services, to paid and unpaid activities across the economy, and to better quality public policy.

The Commission encouraged interested stakeholders to email advice or submissions to this Inquiry through the website.

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