Digital revolution

Taking back control of my data

18 / 09 / 2019




Repeated scandals reveal to what extent our personal data are exploited for commercial and political use. Where are they going? Who’s using them? What’s their face value?

Personal data is the new raw material of the economy. The personal data market is forecast to reach the size of one trillion euros, i.e. 8% of the EU’s GDP, by 2020. Online users are permanently producing personal data and yet have almost no control over their use.

The legal framework needs to be updated, data ownership rights need to be introduced. Europe is the right scale to act.
Our first report “Owning my personal data” (January 2018) has already helped to push forward the idea in the French public opinion.

Privacy paradox

Polls show that data protection and personal privacy are major issues for online users. Yet this is clearly at odds with their online behaviour. Users fall victim to this ‘intimacy paradox’. The less they feel their data are protected, the less they will value them, leading to a downfall of their online confidentiality preferences

Personal ownership rights are needed to introduce a price system allowing people to take back control of their data.

Oligopolistic market

The digital economy is highly concentrated because various effects strengthen the influence of big players. The main online platforms benefit from strong network effects.

GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, that came into effect in May 2018 fails to promote competition and could eventually undermine innovation.

To protect online users’ privacy while fostering competition in a market characterised by monopolistic tendencies, a price system has to be introduced as a subtle balance between market and regulation.

Personal ownership rights are needed for personal data to be exchanged. We put forward two models of data ownership: a “contractual” vision and a “proprietary” vision.


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