Privacy by Design Roadmap in the Era of Big Data for Smart Cities in the EU

Francesca Spagnoli

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


As privacy concerns spread through society, the interest in Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) increases and it becomes a pivotal tool to solve the information asymmetry between data controllers and data subjects. This process puts the former under the obligation to design processing operations which are not detrimental to society and individuals’ liberty. PIA is therefore a crucial moment to understand data protection implications of the processes, single out risks and identify remedies. Within this framework, Privacy by design aims to design innovations, where privacy is operationalised into requirements and part of the innovation through the service development process. To date, different methodologies for PIA exist at a general level, whereas the European data protection authorities have recently called to develop specific ones, together with guidelines, to support the needs of Smart Cities sharing a huge amount of Big and Open Data. The aim of the paper is to provide guidance to Smart Cities in the EU to identify the different steps needed to implement Privacy by Design, in order to understand how information is used and which are the benefits of assessing the potential risks of data protection and processing for the cities. The result of the study is a framework for PIA in Smart Cities working with Big Data, that will be refined by the cities involved in the SynchroniCity project funded by the European Commission.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2017


  • Smart Cities
  • Privacy Impact Assessment
  • Data protection
  • Data processing
  • Internet of Things
  • Privacy by design
  • Big data

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