Big Data

Modern technologies simplify the generation and collection of huge amounts of data. For example, an autonomous car generates up to one gigabyte of data per minute (Telekom, 2018). This wealth of weakly structured, complex information, which can no longer be evaluated with conventional tools, is referred to as ‘big data’.


Data cannot be physically touched and is therefore intangible. So the question arises as to whether its extraction, storage and use are subject to similar phenomena as is the case with other intangible goods (e.g. inventions or works of art). For example, the market for inventions does not function optimally, which justifies it being regulated. The extent to which regulation is also necessary for the data market is controversial, however.


Previous studies have shown that generally, there is no shortage of the supply of data, but also that data markets may not function optimally due to market power. For more information on this topic, see our website page on access to non-personal data in the private sector.


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