While securing personal data from privacy violations, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explicitly challenges policymakers to exploit evidence from social data-mining in order to build better policies. Against this backdrop, two issues become relevant: the impact of Big Data on social research, and the potential intersection between social data mining, rulemaking and policy modelling. The work aims at contributing to the reflection on some of the implications of the ‘knowledge-based’ policy recommended by the GDPR. The paper is thus split into two parts: the first describes the data-driven evolution of social sciences, raising methodological and epistemological issues; the second focuses on the interplay between data-driven social research, rule-making and policy modelling, in the light of the policy model fostered by GDPR. Some theoretical reflections about the role of evidence in rule-making will be considered to introduce a discussion on the intersection between data-driven social research and policy modelling and to sketch hypotheses on its future evolutions.
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