Yet this skin does not belong to us, nor is it defined by us. Rather, the data skin belongs to those who operate the systems, who provide applications, who control the technologies, who trace what we do. The data of our phone calls belongs to telecom firms, the data of our social media chats to Facebook or Google, the data of our medical records to health insurance companies, the data of our vacation bookings to the hospitality portal operators. These players monetize our data and turn it into the biggest source of revenue and fastest growing profits of the future. They mine the data, analyse it, and model our behaviour. They shape our data skin.
Considering the intensifying trends, data protection and privacy have to be replaced by property ownership as the basis and principle of order for all data which refer to an individual person.
Since the English revolution in the 17th century, this approach became anchored in all democratic constitutions. The right to property ownership created the foundation for all modern societies and states through the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, article 17.
The motto of today needs to be “My Data belongs to Me”.
Peter A. Bruck is the CEO and Chief Researcher of Research Studios Austria Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, the honorary President of the International Center for New Media and the Chairman of the Board of the World Summit Award on e-Content and creativity, the global best practice initiative in more than 170 UN member states as part of the United Nations Action on World Summit on Information Society (2003-2015).
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