Governing the Resource of Data: To What End and for Whom? Conceptual Building Blocks of a Semi-Commons Approach

The 23rd working paperfor Data Governance Network by Anita Gurumurthy and Nandini Chami presents the building blocks of an economic governance regime for data that can contribute to the growth of the digital economy by unlocking the potential of data. The de facto enclosure of data by platform monopolies not only creates a skewed market place with exclusionary effects, it also presents a huge opportunity cost in terms of the unrealized public and social value of data. The paper unpacks the limits of emerging approaches to data governance – both, individualist and collective – arguing why such frameworks do not go far enough. It offers a semi-commons approach to ordering the digital economy as a means to achieve ‘distributive integrity’.

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