UK Parliament POSTnote – Edge Computing

UK Parliament POSTnote (number 631) released this month describes Edge Computing – the use of computing resources in close proximity to the place where data are processed within a network, and some of the opportunities and challenges associated with its use.

A section on privacy – an area highlighted as one of the challenges – references our EPSRC-funded research paper “Who is responsible for data processing in smart homes – reconsidering joint controllership and the household exemption“, Jiahong Chen, Lilian Edwards, Lachlan Urquhart and Derek McAuley, International Data Privacy Law 2020.

The POSTnote states: “Edge computing may offer some privacy advantages where personal data can be stored locally, and processed or anonymised before being sent for external analysis. This may also allow organisations to better comply with data residency requirements (POSTnote 629).  However, as data collecting devices are increasingly adopted by consumers, it may become more difficult to determine different stakeholders’ responsibilities under data protection law and whether they are equipped to comply

One of the key points in our paper addressed determining how responsibility and accountability should be fairly assumed by stakeholders and the pressing need to clarify the roles of these parties within the existing data protection legal framework.