The Basics of Private and Public Data Trusts
EW Barker Centre for Law & Business Working Paper 19/03
27 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 23, 2019
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
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