Digital Sovereignty and Governance in the Data Economy: Data Trusteeship Instead of Property Rights on Data

Chapter by Ingrid Schneider: “This chapter challenges the current business models of the dominant platforms in the digital economy. In the search for alternatives, and towards the aim of achieving digital sovereignty, it proceeds in four steps: First, it discusses scholarly proposals to constitute a new intellectual property right on data. Second, it examines four models of data governance distilled from the literature that seek to see data administered (1) as a private good regulated by the market, (2) as a public good regulated by the state, (3) as a common good managed by a commons’ community, and (4) as a data trust supervised by means of stewardship by a trustee. Third, the strengths and weaknesses of each of these models, which are ideal types and serve as heuristics, are critically appraised. Fourth, data trusteeship which at present seems to be emerging as a promising implementation model for better data governance, is discussed in more detail, both in an empirical-descriptive way, by referring to initiatives in several countries, and analytically, by highlighting the challenges and pitfalls of data trusteeship…(More)”.