Smart data promises can establish against paywalls

Smart data promises can establish against paywalls

with its publication Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, the UK government has come good on its promise to reassess the regulation of personal data post-Brexit. The headline items the government is pushing are in addition to banning nuisance calls and texts Remove many cookie pop-ups Used to obtain consent for visitor tracking.

The stated motivation for introducing the new data laws and plans is “Unveil innovation” and “Reduce the burden on businesses“, small businesses are being targeted as one of the main beneficiaries of the move to reduce what is seen as unnecessary red tape and regulations. But some of what the bill proposes could actually hurt rather than help innovative startups and small enterprises.

On the face of it, the introduction of the concept “Smart Data Scheme“- which will be set up to allow secure, consensual sharing of customer data with third parties – sounds like an exciting step towards innovation in data infrastructure. These schemes reflect the principles of fair market access, as well as the potential for economic growth and the real success of open banking. Shows that initiative The Open Data Institute (ODI) was launched in 2015 with HM Treasury.

This was enabled by the UK’s mandatory Competition and Markets Authority Nine Largest Banks (CMA 9) To cooperate when customers request to share their financial data with third parties, be they other banks or third-party apps, such as accounting software.

The new smart data scheme appears to share some of the features of open banking in other sectors, with mortgages, savings and pensions lined up as possible next use cases. But the small print allows companies holding data to effectively install a paywall into the equation.

This means that a nimble startup wanting to use the data running from your sports watch, or a broadband company or pay TV service trying to tailor the best package for you based on your previous usage patterns, will have to pay the holder of your data for that privilege. for Data portability.

This cost will likely be passed on to consumers, increasing costs for new businesses while benefiting established brands that hold the data. This current facility effectively rules out the power of innovation to break data monopolies and lend a hand to SMEs, startups, charities and microbusinesses.

That said, there is definitely a cost to deploying a secure data infrastructure for smart data. If smart data is followed safely Innovation-inspiring Its data sharing model Open BankingIt would then have to be funded primarily by Whitehall (currently funded by CMA 9 of around £30m a year with open banking costs).

Today’s economic reality is a bit different than it was in 2015, but I strongly believe that a lack of investment now could limit growth later. The government has Concerns were mentioned earlier SMEs are being locked out of the data business boom, negatively impacting the economy. But providing a platform for innovation with financial constraints will do just that.

With the lack of funding comes the lack of a central coordination mechanism for smart data, which may leave schemes unable to deliver on their promises. Interoperability of portable data depends on how that data is structured or curated, or its data standard. So, a system where larger players set their own data standards and APIs (application programming interfaces) means you risk creating a data-sharing model that can throw up endless inconsistencies, which in turn will hurt small businesses.

Innovations like Smart Data should encourage an end to the format and language battles that separate Apple and Windows, rather than risk encouraging them in the name of protectionism and financial advantage.

Smart data can and should be a great way to compete and strengthen Empowerment of the masses When it comes to both the use and value of their personal data, it needs to be set up to allow the rapid creation of new markets and new services without technical or financial barriers to market entry.

After all, it’s users’ personal data that has created so much value at tech companies, so it seems absurd to charge when those customers want to use that data elsewhere. Equitable market access will allow for leveling across technology sectors.

It’s great that the Government sees data sharing as an integral part of innovation, and growth in our economy, but I hope that the Bill can be changed when it is considered in Parliament in the autumn. Open data initiatives such as Smart Data have the potential to foster an innovation environment where new products and services can be inspired and created by existing data.

It can be the place where new green initiatives are discovered, where businesses learn to better serve diverse communities, and where individuals are able to connect with services that can help with multiple issues, including addiction, debt and mental health.

But ensuring data interoperability and not favoring the deepest pockets and largest datasets must be a priority to ensure creative thinking, enterprise and social benefits are at the fore. Without such considerations, the UK’s data economy risks falling behind rather than ahead of the pack.

Mahlet Zimeta heads public policy Open Data Institute.

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