SPECIAL is a research and innovation project funded under the Horizon2020-ICT-2016-1 Big Data PPP call to address privacy-preserving Big Data technologies, standing for ‘Scalable Policy-awarE linked data ArChitecture for prIvacy, trAnsparency and compLiance’. Besides, this project allows citizens and organisations to share more data while guaranteeing data protection compliance and transparency. The project started on January 1st, 2017 and will continue until December 31st, 2019.

Its vision is to reconcile Big Data and personal data protection by an innovative data handling solution and a transparency framework. It should be pointed out SPECIAL is developing a technology to ease the industry’s difficulties with GDPR compliance and to enable respectful treatment of personal information.

This introduces new ways of user interaction on privacy and support for a trusted customer relationship, such as:

Building a big data architecture to handle linked data for privacy policies, as well as deploy scalable, query-able encryption.
Developing advanced user (data subject) interaction and control features.
Integrating the results of the Big Data Europe and the PrimeLife projects, while advancing the state of the art of privacy-enhancing technologies.
Including ethical principles, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the future ePrivacy Regulation.

A conflict exists between the need for the Big Data industry to commercialize large amounts of data and the protection of individuals. The solution proposed by SPECIAL is to build a proof-of-concept showing it can be realizable to pursue both goals at the same time, its objective is to trigger a more privacy and data protection friendly approach in the Big Data market. Therein, the creation of a transparent personal data handling framework is indeed aimed at a broader goal beyond the project.

The SPECIAL consortium consists of project partners from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. They bring in expertise from various fields, such as legal, business, security, privacy, usability, big data and semantics. The individual project partners are:

• GEIE ERCIM / Host of the W3C
• Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)
• Centro Regionale Information Communication Technology scrl (CeRICT)
• Technical Univerity of Berlin (TU-Berlin)
• Unabhängies Landeszentrum für Datenschutz (ULD)
• TenForce
• Deutsche Telekom AG, TLABS (TLABS)
• Thomson Reuters

Partners of this consortium bring in professional knowledge from quite different domains; experts for policy languages, standards and reasoning (ERCIM, WU), Linked Data technologies and Big Data infrastructures (TenForce, WU), legal and ethical requirements for privacy-preserving data-sharing (ULD, WU) and usability (TUB, DTAG), as well as industry partners engaged in the Big Data economy (DTAG, PROX, TR).

Don’t miss the opportunity to know more about this project visiting their website and twitter.