Big data issues addressed
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Big data issues addressed

Ms Simone Fischer-Hubner, presenting on privacy, transparency and fairness challenges for Big Data

Tebelo Theledi

The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in collaboration with the South Africa Swedish University Forum (SASUF) hosted a symposium on Digital Technologies, Big Data and Cybersecurity on the 15th of May 2018 at the Quest Conference Estate.

This conference invited academics, researchers and industry experts to present a paper and join this discussion panel around the areas of Big Data use in Health, Transport, Energy, Food and Education. General research papers and presentations about privacy legislation, data security, and cyber security independent of application areas were also introduced.

Dr Pauline Machika, the executive director of Centre of Academic development gave the opening remarks. “The purpose of this symposium is an engagement in big data discussion of how data is changing the business world and higher education.”

In light of the rapidly emerging and increasingly diffused digital technologies resulting from data collection and exploitation, the themes are gaining more and more prominence not only in the IT world.  New opportunities are arising in these sector which have the potential to address societal challenges especially in areas such as health, transport, energy, food and education.

Addressing issues of big data, presenters unveiled different topics in the symposium which included Quantum Technology for the 4th industrial revolution, Privacy, transparency and fairness, big data in SA agriculture and learning analytics. Presentations were followed by panel discussions which gave the platform for questions and further clarity.

Big Data analysis poses legal and ethical challenges in regard to privacy, transparency and fairness. In terms of compliance such as the upcoming EU GDPR and South African’s POPIA, multidisciplinary research on innovative solutions for achieving privacy, transparency and fairness by design is greatly needed.

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