Individual-centric data ecosystem

Executive summary

For each single data subject, being able to access and reuse her ‘digital footprint’ (i.e., all data left behind by users within their use of digital services, and the personally unique arrangement that makes someone identifiable just upon the specific combination of her system information) arguably represents an opportunity to enhance its ability to receive better services, to make more informed consumption decisions, as well as to avoid misuses of her data. This research threads aims at reviewing contributions on the value attached by users to their personal data, identifying criteria to assess costs and benefits of alternative (individual-centric) models for the management of personal data, and draft future scenarios.

Background

If one matches the exponential reduction in the cost of managing information with the exponential growth in the amount of information shared in a digital environment by users, the trivial outcome is that organisations are increasingly in the position of holding information about individuals. For each single data subject, being able to access and reuse its ‘digital footprint’ arguably represents an opportunity to enhance its ability to receive better services, to make more informed consumption decisions, as well as to avoid misuses of the date she generated. However, this poses several challenges at legal, economic and technological levels, which are worth investigating.

Objectives

This research threads aims at: i) reviewing contributions on the value attached by users to their personal data, as reported in the recent empirical literature, so that typical online behaviours can be depicted; ii) identifying criteria to assess costs and benefits (for data subjects, data controllers, service providers, society as a whole) of an ‘individual-centric’ management of the digital footprint of each user, starting from existing examples; iii) discussing future scenarios, e.g., the economic sustainability of market endeavours such as ‘personal data vaults’.

Results

Related Publications

2014

Morando, Federico; Iemma, Raimondo; Emilio, Raiteri

Privacy evaluation: what empirical research on users’ valuation of personal data tells us Journal Article

In: Internet Policy Review, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1–11, 2014.

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