The UK DCMS'
Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation launched a closed consultation on 13 June for responses to policy considerations on how "advances in how data is used, and the technologies that lie behind it, are transforming the world as we know it." See here
This important institution is tasked with no less than making sure our society keeps pace with things like how we diagnose illness, deliver public services and tackle climate change. NBD.
, and in so doing put a stake in the ground around data ownership. HATs confer upon their owners intellectual property rights to personal data, and because of the legal, economic and technology architecture of our microservers, the personal data within a HAT can be legally owned, controlled, and processed by individuals - a feather-ruffling statement. Many believe data cannot be owned under UK law. We argue otherwise. (Watch this space as we make the case to the triumvirate of Royal Society, British Academy and TechUK in October).
8 specific questions were offered for consultation by the DCMS, and we were happy to express a bit of opinion in response to solutions that they have put forward to the challenges facing us all. If you don't have enough adrenaline in your system at the moment, you can read all of our thinking here
But some of the simplest and most important arguments to be had are about ownership. Today, the rights to the intellectual property that data represents are dependent upon where it sits and how it was obtained (to grossly over-simplify). Different rights govern my data on Facebook than the same data held by me on my HAT.
We want the data ownership issue sorting out because it effects a ton of follow-ons. Data access rights depend on ownership, and so do legal expectations of transparency. Data fairness, data liability, and data targeting rights and obligations depend on ownership as well. If we have a societal need that surrounds data, it is in sorting out who can own it.
And of course, we have an opinion on that too. We want - no, need - a data ownership model that will make allocating it around as efficient as possible, involve the fewest externalities (other bits and people), and burden society with the fewest costs. This isn't (just) a HAT model of ownership - it's a mix of both centralised and decentralised ownership models.
So you, sir or ma'am reading this. If you work at DCMS or helped write the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation Consultation Request. The answer to your question 5 is ownership. Let's sort that out first.
Yours in HAT