Big Data: Who’s Writing the Rules of the Game?

If “data is the new oil” then is it flowing freely across digital pipelines? Will data subjects benefit? Will artificial intelligence be used ethically? Deutsche Bank looks at the need for effective cross-border data regulation.

A recurring theme in financial services involves tensions that come from attempts to foster collaboration in a competitive industry.

A recent whitepaper commissioned by Deutsche Bank highlights the challenge, giving insights on a future where data on individuals and companies is shared freely across borders even as some regulations seek to stem the flow across borders.

The rising popularity of Big Data – the processing of large data sets to reveal patterns usually relating to human behaviour – and increasing use of artificial intelligence has convinced regulators, financial institutions, fintechs and big technology companies that reducing obstacles to data sharing would be a net positive.

However, one of the authors in the whitepaper warns that one must look beyond commercial imperatives.

“Another topic that dominates agendas is Big Data, with significant focus on how financial institutions can best commercialise clients’ data,” said Thomas Nielsen, head of new ventures for Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank unit. “But this line of thinking somewhat misses the point.”

“First, banks are no longer the only custodians of clients’ financial data and, second, the owners of that data – the clients themselves – need to be invited to the party so that they can influence its use and commercialisation.”

“But … [read more]

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