Big Data, Open Data & Re-use

Bart van der Sloot is an expert in the field of Big Data, Open Data and the Re-Use of Public Sector Information. As an employee of the Scientific Council of Government Policy of the Netherlands, he edited a book on Big Data, co-authored a report for the Dutch Government and conducted a comparative legal research on Big Data regulation. In the past, he joined a project for the European Commission and co-authored an advice on the revision of the PSI Directive. He has also written a number of scientific contributions on this topics.

In the report, which was written at the request of the Dutch government, the WRR explores the opportunities and risks associated with the use of Big Data analysis by the police and judicial authorities, intelligence and security services and in combating fraud. It was presented to the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ard van der Steur, by WRR Council member Professor E.M.H. Hirsch Ballin.


The WRR breaks Big Data processes down into three phases: collection, analysis and use of data. The present legal frameworks mainly cover the collection and sharing of data, but offer too little protection to citizens. It is in the phases of data analysis and use that the biggest opportunities and risks of Big Data lie and where new rules are needed.


The report is available in Dutch only. An English article based on the book can be foun here.


Buy the book here or download it here.




The European Commission funded two thematic networks on legal aspects of (reusing) public sector information (LAPSI) bringing together legal scholars in this area with public authorities involvement in the provision of public sector information for reuse and actual reusers. The project LAPSI ran from January 2010 until December 2012. LASPI 2.0 continued from January 2013 until December 2014.


One of the reports revolved around the relationship between the PSI Directive and the Data Protection Directive. The PSI Directive contains only some modest references to the Data Protection Directive

(i.e. in Rec. 21, Art. 1(4) and 2(5), Dir. 2003/98/EC), confirming that fundamental rights of

privacy and data protection should be respected in cases of re-use.


Download the report here.

This book offers the reader a full and comprehensive account of the different aspects of this new phenomenon. It has been edited by Bart van der Sloot, Dennis Broeders and Erik Schrijvers, and it features contributions by authors such as Paul De Hert, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Colin J. Bennett, Alexander Roßnagel and Bart Preneel. The authors put forward suggestions on how the current legal regime could be adjusted to facilitate the positive uses of Big Data while preventing its potentially negative effects.


Big Data is making headlines almost every day. Intelligence services are investing in it to combat global terrorism; companies are using it to optimize and personalize their services; and the healthcare industry is adopting data analytics to improve delivery of medical care. But are these hopes realistic? And what are the potential downsides of using Big Data?


Buy the book here or download it here.

WRR Working Paper 20 was written as part of the project ‘Big Data, Privacy and Security’, undertaken by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) to investigate the consequences of the use of Big Data in the domain

of security.


This background study, entitled International and Comparative Legal Study on Big Data, was written by Bart van der Sloot and Sacha van Schendel. Many countries experiment with Big Data processes, which are almost by definition transnational. The first part of the study is a quick scan of the Big Data policies, legislation and regulations in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, South-Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The second part presents the findings of a survey among Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) in Europe. Both parts of the study focus on the relations between Big Data, security and privacy.


Download the report here, or a scientific article written on the basis of the report here.


Other Scientific Contributions

Is the Human Rights Framework Still Fit for the Big Data Era?


Buy the chapter here or download a draft here

How to assess privacy violations in the age of Big Data?


Buy the article here or download a draft here

Privacy as personality right: ulterior interests in the age of Big Data


Download the article here

Public sector information & data protection



Download the article here