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Current project

Private-sector data for public good: modelling data access mandates

This project aims to model the legal backbone necessary for enabling access to data mandates in practice.

File cabinet full of folders.

Much of today’s digital economy is built on exploitative data practices and forms of ‘data rentiership’, with the result that a small number of dominant platforms have accumulated significant amounts of power over the data ecosystem – so-called ‘data capture’.

To rebalance power towards people and society, the ability to enclose data throughout its lifecycle (how data is generated, collected, managed, stored, analysed and deleted) must be limited, and controls introduced over who has access.

One of the first steps towards reducing data capture is to create legal and governance mechanisms that can reduce the role of intermediaries in value creation around data use and channel it towards wider public benefit.

This project aims to develop a legal framework for enabling data access mandates in practice and seeks to establish a proof of concept that will rebalance power and disintermediate control over data through data redistribution.

Our objectives are to:

  • develop an understanding of the policy, regulatory and practical conditions necessary to mandate access to data
  • provide policymakers with feasible and practicable legal and governance models for data access mandates
  • provide companies with examples of how data access mandates can work in practice to support the public benefit.

This project is supported by a $100,000 Future of Data Challenge Award from Omidyar Network.

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