Nudging Towards Data Equity: The Role of Stewardship and Fiduciaries in the Digital Economy
18 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021
Date Written: February 22, 2021
In this short piece, we posit that data stewards and digital fiduciaries, by enabling greater participation in data-related decisions, can nudge society towards greater social and economic equity. First, we locate data stewards and digital fiduciaries within the broader debate on new data paradigms, and discuss their respective roles at the individual and community level. Drawing from literature on community stewardship of environmental resources, the paper relatedly touches upon possible duties and business models for data stewards and digital fiduciaries.
Thereafter, we discuss conceptual and anecdotal links between “ladders” of participation and greater equity in the context of data. While strong links are posited between participation as facilitated by stewards and forms of data equity, there remains a need to establish, research, and evaluate the potential and limitations of data stewards and digital fiduciaries in the “wild.” The paper concludes with specific questions designed to build a body of work that explores the role that stewards/fiduciaries can play in rebalancing power in the data economy.
Keywords: privacy, fiduciaries, data trusts
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