Gabriella Muscolo introduced the discussion by emphasizing the significant opportunity for the European internal market that the development of the digital and data-driven economy has created. The European Commission has estimated that by 2020 the data economy will be worth around 739 billion euros and amount to 4% of the European GDP.
In this context, big data is an important component of knowledge-based capital and a relevant asset for digital enterprises. The definition of big data remains unclear through both the economic and the legal literature. Gabriella Muscolo referred to the definition officially adopted by the OECD, which has defined big data as “the information characterized by such assets in high volume, velocity and variety to require specific technology and analytical methods for its transformation into value”. Big data is thus characterized by reference to the “three Vs”: volume, velocity and variety. Aside from them, the most important “V” is value, that is, the transformation of data into valuable information through data analytics. This information is then “monetized” through, for example, the provision of targeted services such as online advertising.