To build confidence and trust in digital technologies, data access, privacy and confidentiality are necessary for certain types of sensitive and/or personal information. Access to certain types of data may be restricted for different reasons – to conform with legislation (e.g. the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in the EU) or because information is commercially sensitive (e.g. trade blueprints or information to respect copyrights).
National Statistical Offices (NSOs) are monitoring these developments carefully, with a number of NSOs and regulators moving to consider how big data can be used wisely and legitimately, with adequate safeguards in place to protect privacy and data confidentiality.
To ensure accurate analysis and comparison between countries and over time, data series have to be defined in a standardized way and should be collected using certified or similar techniques.
- Thanks to rapid technological innovation across societies, data sources and indicators for digital infrastructure and usage are diversifying and multiplying. For example, digital technologies have been integrated into smart water meters for more responsible consumption of resources, intelligent transport systems and smart power grids. This brings challenges, but also opportunities.
- Improvements in measurement techniques mean that complex concepts can now be quantified and measured – for example, ITU produces the
ICT Regulatory Tracker to benchmark ICT regulatory environments and progress over time.
- There is considerable excitement surrounding big data which can now be collected from smartphones and smart infrastructure. Different sources are bringing additional data and valuable insights to bear on policy discussions. Different types of data can be combined.