Marc Amstutz on data ownership

Marc Amstutz inter­ven­es with a guest com­men­ta­ry in the today’s NZZ in the dis­cus­sion about data owner­ship (initia­ted in Switz­er­land by Eckert and con­tin­ued in par­ti­cu­lar by Fröh­lich-Bleu­ler). here). He sees “weigh­ty rea­sons for a data pro­per­ty, with the fol­lo­wing arguments:

  • Peo­p­le can­not under­stand com­pu­ter code. They the­r­e­fo­re can­not moni­tor what hap­pens to their data on the Inter­net. That’s why Big Data com­pa­nies can coll­ect data unno­ti­ced and con­trol users’ beha­vi­or (Amstutz speaks of “algo­rith­mic governmentality”).
  • Data owner­ship would assign the data to the user who “pro­du­ces” it. This means that not ever­yo­ne can free­ly appro­pria­te data, becau­se other­wi­se users could sue. Howe­ver, only coll­ec­ti­ve enforce­ment would be realistic.




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