Companies have been analyzing data from their own customer interactions on a smaller scale for many years. But only recently, they understood the potential treasure trove of non-traditional and less structured data (such as machine-generated data and social media data) that can be mined both for internal marketing purposes and for licensing to third parties. From the business perspective, the protection of this data is needed to secure the significant economic investment that the “new data economy” can require. Otherwise, data holders may lack the incentives to share the data they own and control, because of the risk that non-authorized users may “free ride” on their investment. Granting private (intellectual) property rights is often suggested as a solution to overcome this incentive problem: people might invest time and money in the creation of new data if they could assert property rights in them and recoup some R&D costs. While current law has until now regulated only particular classes of data, as personal or confidential data, there is no EU or national legislation that specifically regulates the question of ownership in data. Existing IP rights schemes may confer some kind of protection to certain types of data but are unsuitable for the protection of individual data as such. Against this background, it is, therefore, crucial to understand which is the correct approach to protecting data in cyberspace. While relying on contracts may seem the favorite solution, where the negotiation power of the different market participants is unequal, market-based solutions alone might not be sufficient to ensure fair and innovation-friendly results and avoid lock-in situations.

Property rights model v. contractual approach: how protecting non - personal data in cyberspace?

Jacopo Ciani Sciolla
2017-01-01

Abstract

Companies have been analyzing data from their own customer interactions on a smaller scale for many years. But only recently, they understood the potential treasure trove of non-traditional and less structured data (such as machine-generated data and social media data) that can be mined both for internal marketing purposes and for licensing to third parties. From the business perspective, the protection of this data is needed to secure the significant economic investment that the “new data economy” can require. Otherwise, data holders may lack the incentives to share the data they own and control, because of the risk that non-authorized users may “free ride” on their investment. Granting private (intellectual) property rights is often suggested as a solution to overcome this incentive problem: people might invest time and money in the creation of new data if they could assert property rights in them and recoup some R&D costs. While current law has until now regulated only particular classes of data, as personal or confidential data, there is no EU or national legislation that specifically regulates the question of ownership in data. Existing IP rights schemes may confer some kind of protection to certain types of data but are unsuitable for the protection of individual data as such. Against this background, it is, therefore, crucial to understand which is the correct approach to protecting data in cyberspace. While relying on contracts may seem the favorite solution, where the negotiation power of the different market participants is unequal, market-based solutions alone might not be sufficient to ensure fair and innovation-friendly results and avoid lock-in situations.
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data ownership property rights data protection data governance
Jacopo Ciani Sciolla
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1840972
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