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Measure Protocol - Blog

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On ESOMAR's RW Connect blog: data, GDPR and economics

May 29, 2019 7:07:00 AM

Our CEO Owen Hanks recently wrote an article for ESOMAR's RW Connect blog entitled "Data is a Nonrival Economic Good: How do we (all) get the most out of it?" He writes about how personal data can be classified in the elusive economic category of goods that has been earmarked as "nonrival" because it is not depleted and can potentially be used more than once. The term gained popularity in reference to data in a paper by Stanford economics professors Christopher Tonetti and Charles I Jones. The classification of data has become even more important in the face of legislation like GDPR.

Current models for usage of data - GDPR or not - removes consumers from the equation. They generally "have no clear picture of how and when their data is used. They are often not compensated, and have to (gasp) trust the companies to keep their information secure and private." Companies are using their data to make important business decisions, but the reality is that consumers should have the ability to "retain ownership and control of their data" as well as decide "when, where and who uses it – all while being properly compensated, and protecting their own privacy." 

Owen writes more about what this might look like, including how blockchain can help support this vision. He says that this "immutable, encrypted, public ledger that builds integrity into how we transact with data." It is essentially a tamper-proof database that: 

  • Allows anyone to see and review it publicly
  • Includes all records of ownership
  • Includes proof of approved transactions on any rights and distribution of any data
  • Preserves privacy

He then dives into some of the finer points of how information can and should be stored on the blockchain to address ownership challenges, likening market research's challenges to changes within the music industry with the advent of digital music sharing. He writes: "In short, blockchain offers the transparent and immutable accounting backbone for recording ownership for every data transaction."

For the complete article, visit: https://www.researchworld.com/data-is-a-nonrival-economic-good-how-do-we-all-get-the-most-out-of-it/


Measure Protocol
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