Who Owns the Future? Data Trusts, Data Commons, and the Future of Data Ownership
39 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2019 Last revised: 26 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 24, 2019
Who owns your data? And why do they? In this article, I consider various stakeholder claims to data ownership and the value generated by data, through a political economy lens. Following a data value framework established by the Open Data Institute, I first consider how data generates value from the point of its creation, how data as a resource imbues various stewardship obligations onto data controllers, and finally how – given competing interests – decision-making authority is apportioned across stakeholders.
This framework is then applied to three emerging models of data ownership: Laissez Faire, Data Trusts and Data Commons. The structural qualities of each model are revealed by an in-depth critique, before a visualisation of the data flows between stakeholders is offered.
Finally, I compare these models across categoric issues that emerge from this analysis, considering how each model tackles issues such as incentives, competition, innovation and feasibility.
Keywords: Data, Data Ownership, Data Trusts, Data Commons, Regulation
JEL Classification: B10, O33, O34, 035, 038
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation