Principled Data Access: Building Public-private Data Partnerships for Better Official Statistics

Paper by Claudia Biancotti, Oscar Borgogno and Giovanni Veronese: “Official statistics serve as an important compass for policymakers due to their quality, impartiality, and transparency. In the current post-pandemic environment of great uncertainty and widespread disinformation, they need to serve this purpose more than ever. The wealth of data produced by the digital society (e.g. from user activity on online platforms or from Internet-of-Things devices) could help official statisticians improve the salience, timeliness and depth of their output. This data, however, tends to be locked away within the private sector. We argue that this should change and we propose a set of principles under which the public and the private sector can form partnerships to leverage the potential of new-generation data in the public interest. The principles, compatible with a variety of legal frameworks, aim at establishing trust between data collectors, data subjects, and statistical authorities, while also ensuring the technical usability of the data and the sustainability of partnerships over time. They are driven by a logic of incentive compatibility and burden sharing….(More)”