The protection of personal data has long been a priority for the European Union (EU). The rules and measures for this protection and their development have become even more significant in the light of Big Data.
In the past few years, the Bulgarian regulatory authorities have demonstrated
that they will hold businesses accountable for their actions as the risk of
damaging consumers increases with the growth in data volume and sensitivity.
Bulgaria does not have national laws specifically related to Big Data.
Nevertheless, the national legal framework sets out general regulations and
restrictions in terms of the collection, use and storage of information.
The main challenges in the context of Big Data and its management are related to the protection of personal data. Currently, as an EU Member State, Bulgaria has aligned its national personal data protection legislation with the
applicable EU legislation in this area. However, a number of other legal issues
need to be considered in relation to Big Data. Among them are copyright
protection, consumer protection, the rules for electronic commerce, and the
protection of competition. All of them are set out in the Bulgarian laws
applicable in the respective area.
The fast pace of new developments in the electronic era gives rise to the
need for the existing laws to catch up and be updated in order to correspond to the collection practices made possible by new technology and the challenges posed by Big Data.
Thus, the European regulatory privacy landscape is currently evolving as the
European Commission is in the process of implementing Data Protection reform to replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive. The proposed Regulation contains clauses that present potential challenges to the use of Big Data including guaranteeing data subjects a “Right to be Forgotten” and more options for Explicit Consent [Progress on EU data protection reform is now irreversible following European Parliament vote http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-186_en.htm].
While Big Data concerns partly stem from familiar problems, they also face
new issues. The primary challenge with Big Data is compliance with the existing laws when the data complexity has increased many times. The security component of privacy also faces additional risks, because the threat of a breach or other security issues increases in value and risk when the data in question is of Big Data scale.
For this reason, the protection of personal data, if not already a priority,
must become one for the management in order to ensure compliance with the legal requirements, reduce risks and maintain a high reputation. The management need to know and be aware of every aspect of the lifecycle of the data that passes through the company in the course of its activity and establish and maintain an effective compliance system for that purpose.