The Basics of Private and Public Data Trusts

NUS Law Working Paper No. 2019/019

EW Barker Centre for Law & Business Working Paper 19/03

27 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Jeremiah Lau Jia Jun

Jeremiah Lau Jia Jun

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

J.E. Penner

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Benjamin Wong

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 23, 2019

Abstract

The term 'data trust' has recently come into circulation to denote some kind of legal governance structure for the management of data, in particular digital databases, but there is much uncertainty and confusion about what a data trust is supposed to be, legally speaking. This paper examines the nature of data as a possible trust asset, and concludes that the traditional trust, the historical creation of English Equity jurisprudence and now found around the world, is a perfectly sensible vehicle for the management of data, in particular the management of combined datasets for both private and charitable, in particular educational, purposes. The paper also considers the data protection issues that arise in relation to data trusts.

Keywords: data trust, data trustee, data as property, data protection, information ownership, Sidewalk Labs, joint venture trusts, charitable trusts

Suggested Citation

Lau Jia Jun, Jeremiah and Penner, James and Wong, Benjamin, The Basics of Private and Public Data Trusts (September 23, 2019). NUS Law Working Paper No. 2019/019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3458192 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3458192

Jeremiah Lau Jia Jun (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

James Penner

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

Benjamin Wong

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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