Big Data Dilemma report

The 4th report from the Science & Technology Committee is now available to read here:


The Science & Technology Committee undertook the inquiry to follow up our predecessor’s report and to begin a programme of inquiries looking at the ‘great technologies’. We sought evidence on:


– The opportunities for big data, and the risks.


– Whether the Government has set out an appropriate and up-to-date path for the continued evolution of big data and the technologies required to support it.


– Where gaps persist in the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities, and be protected from the risks, and how these gaps can be filled.


– How public understanding of the opportunities, implications and the skills required can be improved, and ‘informed consent’ secured.


Any further support needed from Government to facilitate R&D on big data, including to secure the required capital investment in big data research facilities and for their ongoing operation.


Some of our recommendations were:


– the government should examine how it can build capacity to deliver more datasets


– the Government should consider giving the Office for National Statistics greater access both to Government departments’ data and private sector data.


– the Government should introduce a criminal penalty for malicious data protection breaches.