Alberto Cottica: What models for a data economy? Reflections from MyData2019

22/10/2019 - 09:22

...To my surprise, the MyData community seems to have a rough consensus that monetizing personal data is not a long-term sustainable way to run a data economy. The person that came up with the clearest formulation was perhaps Finnish lawyer Jussi Mäkinnen (not verbatim, I am quoting from my notes):

The most enlightening presentation was Ingrid Schneider’s . She is a political science professor at U Hamburg. She described four main proposals around the economics of a data society:

  • Individual data ownership + micropayments (Jaron Lanier, 2015).
  • Data as public goods, managed by the state (Evgeni Morozov , 2017)
  • Data as commons (Elinor Ostrom, 1990), managed by communities.
  • Fiduciary trust (David Winickoff (2003 & 2005), where people commit their data to fiduciary trust, who governs the system.

Schneider discussed the relative merits of these four models, and made a case that Europe is currently “squeezed” between a Lanierian-dystopian America and a Morozovian China, but maybe Europe could (and should) develop a third way.