Data Trusts: More Data than Trust? The Perspective of the Data Subject in the Face of a Growing Problem

Paper by Christine Rinik: “In the recent report, Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK, Hall and Pesenti suggest the use of a ‘data trust’ to facilitate data sharing. Whilst government and corporations are focusing on their need to facilitate data sharing, the perspective of many individuals is that too much data is being shared. The issue is not only about data, but about power. The individual does not often have a voice when issues relating to data sharing are tackled. Regulators can cite the ‘public interest’ when data governance is discussed, but the individual’s interests may diverge from that of the public.

This paper considers the data subject’s position with respect to data collection leading to considerations about surveillance and datafication. Proposals for data trusts will be considered applying principles of English trust law to possibly mitigate the imbalance of power between large data users and individual data subjects. Finally, the possibility of a workable remedy in the form of a class action lawsuit which could give the data subjects some collective power in the event of a data breach will be explored. Despite regulatory efforts to protect personal data, there is a lack of public trust in the current data sharing system….(More)”.