SPECIAL – a H2020-funded R&D
project combining privacy-enhancing
solutions with Big Data innovation

SPECIAL stands for ‘Scalable Policy-awarE linked data ArChitecture for prIvacy, trAnsparency and compLiance’. We are a 3-year (January 2017–December 2019) research and innovation project funded under the Horizon 2020 ICT-18-2016 Big Data PPP: privacy-preserving Big Data technologies. We address the conflict between Big Data innovation and data protection compliance requirements through technical solutions making the achievement of both of these goals realistic. It allows citizens and organisations to share more data, while supporting data protection and transparency.

We develop technology that

  • supports the acquisition of user consent at collection time and the recording of both data and meta-data (consent policies, event data, context) according to legal and user-specified policies;

  • facilitates privacy-aware, secure workflows with usage/access control and auditability to enhance transparency and compliance verification;

 • demonstrates robustness in terms of performance, scalability and security;

 • provides a dashboard with feedback and control features that makes data collection and processing comprehensible and manageable for data subjects, controllers, and processors alike.

The features are deployed and tested with a number of use cases reflecting real-world business scenarios.


Our vision is to reconcile Big Data and personal data protection via an innovative data handling solution and a transparency framework. We develop this technology to ease industry’s difficulties with GDPR compliance and to enable respectful treatment of personal information. This introduces new ways of user interaction on data protection, fostering trusted customer relationships.

Thus, we

 • build a big data architecture to handle linked data for privacy policies, as well as deploy scalable, queryable encryption
 • develop advanced user (data subject) interaction and control features
 • integrate the results of the Big Data Europe and the PrimeLife projects, while advancing the state of the art of privacy-enhancing technologies
 • include ethical principles, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, and consider a future ePrivacy Regulation.

We kindly invite all interested attendees of the BDV PPP Summit 2019 to visit us at our exhibition booth. We look forward to fruitful and engaging discussions while we present our project objectives and core outcomes.