Trading in Big Data: If data is the new oil, how should its extraction be regulated?
Workshop on the regulation of big data and data trading in conjunction with the Micro-Persona eXchange
Date: 30 April 2015 (afternoon) – 01 May 2015 (morning)
Location: Brunel University (Uxbridge, London)
Structure: The workshop is divided into introduction, three sessions and one round table discussion
Organised by Dr Audrey Guinchard & Florian Gamper (University of Essex) as part of the EPSRC Digital Prosumer research project
Registration: If you are interested to attend, please Audrey Guinchard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Florian Gamper (email@example.com)
Documents: Workshop Details (PDF), Worshop Themes (PDF)
The World Economic Forum has described data as the new oil, “a valuable resource for the 21st century. It will emerge as a new asset class touching all aspects of society.” (WEF, Personal Data. The Emergence of a New Asset Class, 2011, p. 4). A crucial question is how this valuable resource should be extracted and who should get the profits from it.
As networked digital technologies become more pervasive and diverse, it is possible to collect personal data generated across the Internet and to gather information on the different facets or personas of a person’s patterns of consumption and lifestyle behaviours. This digital footprint constitutes their digital identity, i.e. their Digital Personhood. Currently, personhood data is fragmented, residing in various repositories across the Internet. It has been considered to be part of the data commons that the ‘Big 3’ Internet Companies — Google, Facebook, Twitter– and other similar organisations have been freely data mining, analysing and, crucially, monetizing. Google, for example, captures data about its search engine users and monetizes it to generate most of its revenue from advertisers who are interested in reaching out to Google’s online users. A shortcoming of this advertisement-centric business model is that the individual whose personal data is being monetized by third-parties has little control over the collection process and the subsequent exploitation of his/her digital-personhood-data and that has direct consequence on his privacy. Furthermore, technology intermediaries capture only a small subset of the individual’s digital-personas, which are not necessarily accurate.
An alternative to the advertising-centric model is for consumers to sell their anonymized data directly to companies that want to buy it. This alternative has the potential to empower citizen ‘prosumers’ — citizens who both produce and consume data — by exploiting the economic value of their digital self in a new tradeable market in personhoods. We are working on this alternative, currently developing a ‘micro-Persona eXchange’ (“MPX”), i.e. an online exchange that allows prosumers to monetize their anonymized personhood-data by selling it directly to the end-user.
The aim of the MPX is to be a real alternative to the advertising-centric model by giving prosumers both actual control (as opposed to nominal control) over their data and real economic benefit of the data they generate. We believe that the MPX is a superior model to other alternatives (e.g. property rights in data, which give some degree of the control to consumers but not real economic control), while at the same time ensuring an adequate flow of data and safeguarding individual privacy. The fundamental idea behind the MPX is the notion that law, business and technology separately cannot solve the challenges and possibilities posed by big data but that they have to work together to create a workable framework.
We are seeking to engage with the broader academic community to analyse the implications of the MPX for law, economics and society.
Schedule for Individual Workshop Sessions (Download PDF)
Worshop Themes (PDF)
Thursday 30 April 2015
13h 30 – Introduction – Welcome
14h – Session 1 – Who really controls data in a big data world?
Dr. Alexander Novotny (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Prof. Andrew Murray (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Florian Gamper (University of Essex, National University of Singapore)
15h30 – Break
16h – Session 2 – Consent in a big data world
Prof. Maurizio Borghi (University of Bournemouth) – “Copyright misuse in the big data environment”
Dr Orla Linskey (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Jo Pearman (University of Kent)
Friday 1st May 2015
9h45 – Session 3: trading on the Micro-Persona Exchange
We are inviting the participants to trade data on our MX platform as established by the team.
11h – Break
11h30 – Session 4 – Panel discussion on data trading challenges
13h – Light lunch (end)
If you are interested to attend, please register to either:
Audrey Guinchard, firstname.lastname@example.org or Florian Gamper, email@example.com
What do you think of the way your personal data is used in exchange for free services (i.e. such as Google or Facebook)? Would you prefer to trade your personal data in return for real money?
Tell us your views: https://brunel.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/digitalprosumer_data