A vision for global privacy bridges: Technical and legal measures for international data markets

05/13/2020 ∙ by Sarah Spiekermann, et al. ∙ 0

From the early days of the information economy, personal data has been its most valuable asset. Despite data protection laws and an acknowledged right to privacy, trading personal information has become a business equated with "trading oil". Most of this business is done without the knowledge and active informed consent of the people. But as data breaches and abuses are made public through the media, consumers react. They become irritated about companies' data handling practices, lose trust, exercise political pressure and start to protect their privacy with the help of technical tools. As a result, companies' Internet business models that are based on personal data are unsettled. An open conflict is arising between business demands for data and a desire for privacy. As of 2015 no true answer is in sight of how to resolve this conflict. Technologists, economists and regulators are struggling to develop technical solutions and policies that meet businesses' demand for more data while still maintaining privacy. Yet, most of the proposed solutions fail to account for market complexity and provide no pathway to technological and legal implementation. They lack a bigger vision for data use and privacy. To break this vicious cycle, we propose and test such a vision of a personal information market with privacy. We accumulate technical and legal measures that have been proposed by technical and legal scholars over the past two decades. And out of this existing knowledge, we compose something new: a four-space market model for personal data.

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