Personal Data Ownership
Data ownership encompasses both the possession of and responsibility for the data set. Controlling information entails the power to access, generate, change, package, profit from, sell or remove data, and the ability to delegate these access capabilities. Data has inherent worth in addition to the value contributed as a result of information processing; “at its heart, the degree of ownership (and, by extension, the degree of accountability) is determined by the value derived by each interested party from the use of that information.
Issues in Personal Data Ownership
Who owns the data and what rights of ownership imply are two of the most challenging questions about personal data. Yet, these questions appear straightforward at first glance. The majority of individuals instinctively say that they own their data and should thus have control over who has access to, uses, aggregates, edits, and shares it. Treating our data as our own makes logical understanding.
It touches on what Alan Westin, a seminal privacy thinker, defined as a fundamental feature of privacy: the right “to control, modify, manage, and remove information about [individuals] and to determine when, how, and to what degree information is disclosed to others.” Finally, it encapsulates individuals’ injustice toward an uneven economy in which we know little about the data we share, but the firms who get it may benefit from extracting marketable information.
Personal Data Monetization
Why can’t we profit from our data like the tech giants? Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandals have exposed the amount of user data collected by tech companies and sold to third parties. They profit from combining this data to design extremely detailed data profiles for marketable use. In addition, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has sent businesses into a frenzy. However, the harm has already been done. We no longer have control over our data. It would be great if there were a way to reclaim some of that power while also making some money.
With the current web2, dominated by big centralized techs, it may be impossible for users to own their data personally. The hegemony of big tech over internet use and control over personal data has prompted demands for the decentralization of the internet. The third iteration of the internet – Web3 – will be characterized by open-source technology and will be trustless and permissionless due to the use of blockchain technology. Web3 is a new version of the internet that leverages blockchain technology to “decentralize” management, limiting the big techs such as Google or Meta and increasing democratic participation.
With data licensing, people can monetize their data. Individuals grant firms access to specific data sources such as social streams, bank and browser data, among others, in exchange for monetary remuneration. They therefore maintain ownership rights and choose which data sets to share under a data licensing model.
Blockchain platforms like NexBloc use tokenization, a digital art, to ensure seamless business transactions. This happens when the value of an asset is converted into a digital token and then recorded on and shared through blockchain. As a result, domain owners have complete control and ownership of their purchased domains and their data. In a nutshell, it promotes the importance of global domain owners’ well-being without any conflict of interest.
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