Data is depicted as the new oil fuelling new economic models and political processes. Narratives about data as currency or as individual property have caught the attention of regulators in Germany and across Europe. Discussions about “data ownership” were first raised concerning services offered by Internet companies such as Facebook and Google, and by the automotive industry. They claimed ownership over data generated within their products and services with the intent of adapting and optimizing that data. More recently, other constituencies have approached the idea of data ownership from a different perspective: consumer protection and civil society representatives express concern about companies making money by exploiting personal data and the sense that not enough is being given in return. “My data belongs to me” became an argument to demand more control over personal data during negotiations regarding the reform of the Council of Europe Convention 108 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Then again, in the light of new regulation being drafted regarding the flow of free data and the data economy, the EU Data Protection Supervisor expressed concerns about the potential monetization of personal data and the incremental datafication of production.
In his book The Fourth Revolution Luciano Floridi addresses the societal changes generated by digitalization: individuals perceive themselves as informational beings with the sense that their data belongs to them as an integral part of their identity. He elevates the concept of belonging to a different abstract concept of ownership. Can data be owned at all? What does belong mean and which norms result in consequence? Can data be attributed exclusively to a single person?
On the 10th of October 2017, we will address these and similar questions in an open debate about data ownership. The discussion will begin with a conversation with Luciano Floridi, professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, moderated by Jeanette Hofmann from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, professor of Internet Policy and Director of the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. All participants are invited to join the debate.
The discussion will be held in English.
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
12:30 - Arrival and sandwiches
13:00 - Conversation with Luciano Floridi
13:45 - Open debate with all guests
14:30 - Networking, coffee and cake
Tempelhofer Ufer 23/24 - 10963 Berlin
The meeting is the fourth in a series of events that aims to bring together different actors from civil society and academia who are interested in international internet policy and its impact on the national level. These networking meetings will take place three times per year, in Berlin, Germany. They are organised by several civil society groups and academic institutions, including the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the German section of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF-D). All stakeholder groups are welcome to join the meetings.
This series of events is supported by ICANN and Wikimedia Germany.