Reuse of Data in Smart Cities: Legal and Ethical Frameworks for Big Data in the Public Arena
Custers, B.H.M. (2019) Reuse of data in smart cities: legal and ethical frameworks for big data in the public arena, in: F. Feldberg et al. (eds.) Appropriate use of data in public space: essay collection, Den Haag: NL Digitaal, p. 9-35.
27 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2019 Last revised: 8 Jan 2020
Date Written: November 22, 2019
Smart cities are urban areas where large amounts of data are collected using sensors to enable a range of processes in the cities to run smoothly. However, the use of data is only legally and ethically allowed if the data is gathered and processed in a proper manner. It is not clear to many cities what data (personal or otherwise) about citizens may be gathered and processed, and under what conditions. The main question addressed by this essay concerns the degree to which data on citizens may be reused in the context of smart cities.
The emphasis here is on the reuse of data. Among the aspects featured are smart cities, the Internet of Things, big data, and nudging. Different types of data reuse will also be identified using a typology that helps clarify and assess the desirability of data reuse. The heart of this essay is an examination of the most relevant legal and ethical frameworks for data reuse.
The most relevant legal frameworks are privacy and human rights, the protection of personal data and administrative law (in particular, the general principles of sound administration). The most relevant ethical frameworks are deontology, utilitarianism, and value ethics. The ethical perspectives offer assessment frameworks that can be used within the legal frameworks, for drawing up codes of conduct, for example, and other forms of self-regulation. Observance of the legal and ethical frameworks referred to in this essay very probably means that data is being used and reused in an appropriate manner. Failure to observe these frameworks means that such use and reuse is not appropriate.
Four recommendations are made on the basis of these conclusions. Local authorities in smart cities must commit themselves to the appropriate reuse of data through public-private partnerships, actively involve citizens in their considerations of what factors are relevant, ensure transparency on data-related matters and in such considerations, and gradually continue the development of smart cities through pilot schemes.
Keywords: data reuse, smart cities, data protection, big data, data ethics
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