This is my blog and this is my first post. As you can see, it’s called Big Data and the Law. Big Data is the hottest thing since the Cloud and I hope using it will help this blog get some traction. Let’s be honest, that’s how this thing works.
The primary purpose of this blog is shameless self-promotion. Please see the “About Me” and the “Shameless Self-promotion” sidebars.
When you use a word or phrase as a foundation for shameless self promotion you need a good definition. Thus did I seek a Big Data definition that would suit my purpose. I stopped after the first 13 pages of Google search results. It’s ironic that the need for a definition is proven by the massive number of them in existence.
As an aside, you might find some of the definitional debate to be interesting. Consider the definitions coined by two big players in the business of selling you information about other people who sell you stuff. Gartner says Big Data is “high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.” Forrester Research says – wrong Gartner! Your definition is just a “quaint definition of big data to be sure, but not an actionable, complete definition for IT and business professionals.” Quaint? Yikes.
Fortunately this is a blog. We have the power to define Big Data any way we want to define it. For purposes of this blog then, Big Data means more than data – the stuff. In this blog we’ll talk about the people and technology that make Big Data possible, useful and relevant, the business of Big Data and the effects of all of the foregoing (and the law – that’s the name). That means we get to talk about some basic things like contract law and intellectual property law. We’ll talk about privacy and other regulatory types of things as well – even ponder about policy. (Did you see how I sidestepped the definition problem and just moved on to a general description of this blog? Pretty slick.)
While I’m on the subject of privacy, it appears that Big Law has decided that, at least for the time being, Big Data is just a privacy thing. If you want evidence, poke around in Big Law’s blogs and legal alerts. I did, and I didn’t see a specific Big Data problem that a lawyer can help you solve. For the most part, Big Law seems content to wait and watch, although some folks are tagging Big Data to every blog post that involves data of any kind. We’ll see what happens next.
So that’s the main purpose of this blog and those are the subjects we’ll be talking about. There is, however, a secondary purpose to this blog. Let’s call it commentary. Some things need to be said, and we’re going to say at least a few of them. Names will be named. This blogging thing is hard. There is a small chance this blog won’t generate a tsunami of legal work. I should at least get whatever health benefit there is in venting.