The Federal Council is asked to include smart data in the priority list of the “Digital Switzerland” strategy to be updated by the end of 2018.
The volume of digital data is exploding. Processing it requires new infrastructures that consume a great deal of power. Smart Data meets these challenges with customized data acquisition that offers many advantages:
1. protection of the environment. Whereas with Big Data as much data as possible is collected and then analyzed, with Smart Data a selection is made from the outset and only the data that is of use is collected. This reduces data flows and inventories.
2. adding more value. The early selection of data requires a strong frontloading of the analysis. This makes it possible to obtain more relevant information more quickly.
3. better protection of personal data through anonymization from the beginning.
Above all, Switzerland has all the prerequisites to take a leading role in the field of smart data: good framework conditions, high-quality infrastructures, positioning at important interfaces for Europe. And it can bring to bear its know-how from the watchmaking and precision tool industries as well as its skills in the economical use of energy to install small, energy-efficient tools on objects connected online. In the face of Big Data, the Federal Council must promote the alternative of Smart Data, which, in addition to protecting the environment and privacy, also offers new perspectives for our industry. In keeping with the Swiss tradition of “small is beautiful”.
Due to the explosive growth of online services, digital photography and digital video, Internet-connected objects, and blockchain, there is a risk that infrastructure (bandwidths, digital lockers) will be regularly overloaded despite the upcoming 5G. Slowing down the flow of information may prevent online connected objects that require immediate response, such as self-driving cars, from functioning.
25 percent of European data is located in energy-intensive centers on Swiss servers. The largest data center consumes as much energy as 26,000 inhabitants. Sustainable thinking is called for.
At the European level, the race for smart data has already begun: The high-tech industries published a report (Re-finding Industry) in April 2018 in which they called on the European Commission to promote recovery.
Statement of the Bundesrat vm 15.8.2018
The Federal Council is of the opinion that the concept of “smart data” cannot be a goal in itself. Rather, it is a way of collecting, using and storing data in a wide variety of factual contexts that aims to limit data processing to only the data that is necessary in each case. The term “smart data” itself is not conclusively defined.
The Federal Council is prepared to address the concept of sustainable data management and its potential for Switzerland as part of the revised “Digital Switzerland” strategy. However, it refrains from making “smart data” a priority of the revised “Digital Switzerland” strategy, as requested by the mover of the motion.