prepared in collaboration with A.T. Kearney, addresses the key trust challenges facing the personal data economy, and offers a set of near-term and long-term insights for addressing these issues. The insights in this report are the product of a multi-year global dialogue on new approaches for creating a balanced and sustainable personal data economy that serves the interests of individuals while maintaining flexibility for innovation. The community contributing to this dialogue is comprised of actors from government, academia, civil society, and the private sector.
The report highlights three inter-related challenges that must be addressed in order to strengthen trust:
Transparency: notions of transparency need to move from a focus on disclosure, which often has the negative consequence of overwhelming individuals, to an emphasis on providing individuals with insight and meaningful control
Accountability: current data governance systems place the greatest burdens of risk and responsibility with individuals; in order to be more accountable risks need to be equally distributed throughout the value chain
Empowerment: shared incentives for empowering individuals and more equitably distributing value are needed to move past existing information differentials that benefit a concentrated set of actors
To address these challenges, the report proposes a series of near-term and long-term actions:
Promote shared taxonomies on the various types, origins, and uses of data: establishing a common language for data types and data usage is a critical first step toward building transparent, efficient and effective systems that are interoperable across industries and geographies. This is especially true in light of the rising proportions of data that is observed or inferred, rather than volunteered at the point of collection. Policies need to account for the fact that as a result of this complexity, individuals will not have full visibility in the traditional sense into all the data that is generated about them.
Assess data usage on the basis of impact: shifting the focus of data governance to the impact, positive or negative, that data usage has for individuals is a pragmatic step towards increasing accountability. Approaches based on risk management are a more straightforward way for organizations to prioritize actions that mitigate potential harms arising from data use, and allow the focus of these activities to shift to the protection of individuals.
Stimulate technological and business innovations in smart data: Technology must be viewed as a key enabler for driving scale and efficiency. In particular, innovations in the space of smart data allow for the creation of context-aware data management systems in which the permissions and provenance associated with personal data flow through the value chain.