How to balance between citizen-centric NGI and business models based on the data economy

Nov 10 2017

I recently attended the COST-CONNECT workshop entitled “An interdisciplinary approach on the Next-Generation Internet”, held on 12-13th September, 2017, in Brussels. The event was jointly organised by the COST programme and DG CONNECT of the European Commission with the purpose to bring together the COST and DG CONNECT projects working in relevant areas to NGI topics. 

During the world cafe session part of the event, I led a group discussion pondering a question on how to adequately balance a “citizen centric” Next Generation Internet in an environment where the business models are largely based on the data economy, which uses citizens’ data as a replacement for payment fees or subscription charges.

If we are truly trying to ensure the internet of the future is truly citizen-centric, then we need to address the quandaries such as how do you give people power and control over their data in an internet, which today is largely based on the data economy and making money from this data, are adequately balanced and fully addressed. For example, decentralised data governance in the NGI is key to empowering the citizens in terms of knowing fully what their data is being used for and by whom. That is why it is one of the core selected topics in the upcoming WP2018 for NGI. 

If you are interested in this topic, or want to add to the discussions, please do so. We put together a nice team working on this topic at the COST-CONNECT workshop and we would very much like to hear your views on how to address this important challenge for the NGI.

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1 comment on "How to balance between citizen-centric NGI and business models based on the data economy"

  • Mirko Presser's picture

    Today's technology favours the winner takes all solution. We are trying to hamper this with the GDPR, but I think we can only really make this work by offering alternative technological solutions (e.g. blockchain) coupled with services that at least feel equivalent to existing services.

    answered 15 Nov 2017 15:25