The article by Max von Schönfeld, Data- The New Oil?! is fortunately an article that I can provide you with a link since it is open access. You can see my summary of it here.



As we all know, from the big example of Tesla especially, the importance of information technology in car industry is growing very rapidly. It is thought to become both a partner and a competitor to the car industry soon.

What has that much importance? The data.

In 21th century we have two main approaches to private data. They are “privacy by design” and “privacy by default”. When evaluating big data, according to the author, these should be adhered.

Which types of data can be collected through the technology in cars?

  • Motion data using GPS, (Time and place, speed, stops, routes and duration)
  • Behavioral data of the driver regarding acceleration, braking, steering, flashing etc.
  • Condition of the car
  • Communication device usage
  • Data on the external environment
  • Data on passengers, for example via their seat sensors or telephones.
  • Video cameras installed in the driver’s cab

This list, like the amount of data being collected, grows day by day, so it is only exemplary.

Personal data means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller. And data privacy concerns only personal data. So companies dealing with such technology and data, tries to stay away from personal data as much as possible.

Anonymised or pseudonymised data come into play when we talk about the extend of data protection.

Anonymisation means processing the data with the aim of irreversibly preventing the identification of the individual to whom it relates.

Pseudonymizing is replacing the name and other identifiers by a mark for the purpose of excluding the determination of the person concerned or considerably more difficult.
We can easily see that anonymization is safer than pseudonymization, but in either case they are still private data, thus protected as such. However the level of protection changes with these, so it might be in company’s best interest to use these techniques, especially regarding the requirement of data minimization in some sectors.
Ownership of data is one of the most debatable aspects of this subject. In civil law, property right is assign to “things” (My note: In Common Law there are different issues about this subject, I will explain them with another article from a Common Law system.) Data as such, as intangible information, is initially not de lege lata eligible to be the subject of property right in the sense of § 903 of the Civil Code (BGB). (My note: In Common Law even notional things can be considered “things” in regards to property right) 
Data can be counted as a nonessential component of the hardware it is carried in, but that does not solve the data protection issue. In Civil law, this subject is still not regulated thus unanswered.
Data economy, data minimization is an important subject and should be used by means of pseudonymisation and anonymisation techniques. Profiling, one of the biggest concerns of the public, can be prevented with them. eCall technology is, as known, questioned in this regard.
Europe, clearly has stricter protection of personal data than US. However, these technologies are not confined in countries, or continents or regions. They are universal and they belong to big, multinational companies that import and export their products everywhere. So this difference between two systems causes dualism which results with the disadvantage of European companies and disturbance in public.



This article is very informative with regards to general problems on Big Data, it has a clear language and the author Mr. Max von Schönfeld proposes a few solutions to these problems too, which I did not give spoiler to. I hope you will like it too.