The Italian Big Data Inquiry: A Question Of Method

By Renato Nazzini – 

On May 30, 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”), together with the Telecoms Authority (“AGCOM”) and the Data Protection Authority (“DPR”) (together, the “Authorities”) launched an inquiry into “big data.” This is the first time an inquiry has been carried out by the three Authorities and, while this clearly presents some challenges, it is also a significant opportunity to bring clarity in this field. In order to achieve this objective, it is suggested that three methodological issues are, among others, of fundamental importance: (1) getting the sequence right; (2) obtaining cross-sectors information; and (3) keeping conceptually different issues distinct (while appreciating their links, when relevant).