Enabling big data applications for security: responsible by design

March 17th 2017 - 09:00

There are all kinds of new applications in development today that make increasingly smarter use of Big Data. Take for example the recent announcements that judicial decisions can be predicted by computers. In the security domain there are numerous possibilities to use these technologies too. At the same time the security domain bears the risk of exclusion and inducing mistrust among the civilian population regarding the limitless use of personal data. This report outlines how to develop technologies responsibly for this challenging domain.

Big Data is the next great opportunity for security organizations and individuals alike. The idea is to feed a computer with large amounts of data in order to perform faster and more accurate analyses and create a real-time, situational understanding of security situations. At this point however, the technological developments remain in a state of flux.

The authors hope to inspire the reader and increase awareness as well as provide insights into how to develop responsible Big Data applications for security.

This report provides a description of technological developments and explains how these developments can be used to support more responsible, effective and efficient security.

Three of the most prevailing observations are:

  1. Big Data and High Performance Computing have a very large set of multifaceted capabilities to contribute to security.
  2. For the acceptance of the applications, society, public organizations and the corporate business world should establish a framework on the eligibility of these developments.
  3. Decisions affecting humanity are increasingly being taken by computers, which raises tremendous responsibility regarding the correctness and ethical values represented in Artificial Intelligence.

The observations evoke, among others, the following five questions that will be addressed in this report:

  • What are computers able to do with Big Data?
  • What do we ask from the computers?
  • What is desirable to ask from the computers?
  • What happens in practice at this moment?
  • What should be the Call for Action?

Powerpoint presentation

The report can be downloaded using the button on the right.

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.