Nesta has published a paper that argues the case for data trusts as a means of giving greater control to citizens over their data whilst also unlocking greater value from data for the public as a whole.
They argue that the lack of control over personal data fuels mistrust over how individual's data is collected and used. This mistrust, they reason, leads to a “deficit of public value”. The lack of sufficiently trusted institutions that can make judgments in the public interest is given as a reason for the failure to maximise public value from personal data.
Interestingly, the authors challenge the notion of data-ownership and argue that data are like ideas and therefore cannot be owned by a single individual. They also argue that data exists conceptually separate from authorship. Perhaps a controversial thesis for those who wish to monetise their personal data.
Nesta examines several examples of data governance, which vary in terms of data sharing control as well as in the public or personal value of the shared data:
- Voluntary Data Associations/Personal Data Stores/Data Co-ops
- Public Data Trusts
- Industry Data Stewardship Trusts
- Public Private Data Trusts
- Public Benefit Data Trusts