Mapping the landscape of data intermediaries

Report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre: “…provides a landscape analysis of key emerging types of data intermediaries. It reviews and syntheses current academic and policy literature, with the goal of identifying shared elements and definitions. An overall objective is to contribute to establishing a common vocabulary among EU policy makers, experts, and practitioners. Six types are presented in detail: personal information management systems (PIMS), data cooperatives, data trusts, data unions, data marketplaces, and data sharing pools. For each one, the report provides information about how it works, its main features, key examples, and business model considerations. The report is grounded in multiple perspectives from sociological, legal, and economic disciplines. The analysis is informed by the notion of inclusive data governance, contextualised in the recent EU Data Governance Act, and problematised according to the economic literature on business models.

The findings highlight the fragmentation and heterogeneity of the field. Data intermediaries range from individualistic and business-oriented types to more collective and inclusive models that support greater engagement in data governance, while certain types do aim at facilitating economic transactions between data holders and users, others mainly seek to produce collective benefits or public value. In the conclusions, it derives a series of take-aways regarding main obstacles faced by data intermediaries and identifies lines of empirical work in this field…(More)”.