MPs launch big data investigation

GB and Royal Mail net Govt briefThe House of Commons Science & Technology select committee is launching an inquiry into big data, in an effort to discover whether the Government is doing enough to promote its benefits to businesses, as well as investigate concerns over data collection.
The committee will examine whether ministers are doing enough to help firms benefit from what it deems the “data revolution”, as well as study potential issues around data protection and privacy.
“Growth in computing power continues at a remarkable pace, bringing enormous economic and social opportunities as new public and private services are developed using big datasets,” said Nicola Blackwood, chair of the Science & Technology Committee. “But there are also growing public concerns about the collection, use and sale of personal data.”
Big data was one of the “eight great technologies” identified by the Coalition Government. Along with “green IT”, the two were allotted £189m of a £600m package announced by then-minister for Universities & Science David Willetts in January 2013.
The Coalition also promoted big data by dishing out £42m to the Alan Turing Institute and announcing it as an institute for data science. The institute is currently headquartered at The British Library in London, under the collective umbrella of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, University College London (UCL), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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