Data Ownership vs. Data Privacy: a Copernican Revolution

The technical foundation of a new, decentralized and distributed data economy


The recent ruling of Italian State Court to fine Facebook established that consumers’ data has economic value and represents a counter-performance for online services offered by digital platforms. This enables consumers with bargaining power, involving them into the data monetization cycle. However, only by ensuring consumers’ ownership rights over their data can this data be monetized in a straightforward manner. In fact, as a consequence of the widespread adoption of connected devices generating continuous flows of data, the focus should shift from the concept of Data Privacy – protection of data sets from access by unauthorised parties – to the concept of Data Ownership – freely granting and revoking data access to legitimate parties.

Consumers’ data is the new oil yet Privacy Laws regarding sharing data with third parties limit Data Monetization opportunities. The reason why compliance is difficult is of a technical nature: all current data sharing platforms are centralized and have exclusive control over third party access to consumers’ data. By decentralizing data access control and putting it back into the hands of legal data owners, Companies can create their own Data Streams Marketplaces involving customers and business partners in a data monetization cycle that is GDPR compliant by design.