Introducing the Data Cooperative: A Novel Approach to Data Pooling and Sharing

  • Nov 5, 2022 10:15–11:45AM

  • Observatory

Guided by Victor Barcellos



The past year has seen a growing interest in the concept of data cooperatives. A data cooperative is an organization that is owned and controlled by its members, who pool their data in order to create a shared resource. The cooperative then uses this data to provide services to its members. There are a number of advantages to this model, including the fact that it gives members more control over and access to their data, and that it allows for the creation of a virtuous circle in which data is used to improve the quality of the services offered by the cooperative. This session will explore the potential of data cooperatives, and will discuss some of the challenges that need to be overcome in order to make them a success.

Decentralization of Data: How Countries Are Using Legislation for Control

In recent years, data control has become more localized and decentralized. Concerns about data privacy and security, a desire for more local control over data-driven decision-making, and a desire to foster competition and innovation in the digital economy are driving this movement. Several countries around the world are decentralizing control of data use. California has spearheaded this movement in the United States. The California Data Protection Act of 2018 granted residents new rights to their personal data. The act established the Attorney General’s Data Protection Agency to enforce these rights. The 2019 California Consumer Privacy Act gave residents more control over their personal data. Other states and countries have used these laws as a model. ICDE research fellow Katya Abazajian discusses state and local policy that data cooperatives should be aware of to work at the local level, using California as a case study.

Data Cooperatives: What, Why, and How
Adriane Clomax, a current ICDE research fellow, will give the lay of the land for data cooperatives. She notes that data co-ops, as part of the landscape of platform co-ops, exist and thrive within certain parameters. These are cooperatives that are oriented towards social good, and have a business model in which the members control and access the data that is generated. The advantages of this model are many, including that it allows for more democratic decision-making about how the data is captured and used. It gives members a greater stake in the value that is created from their data and creates social and economic value for their communities.


Open Data and Smart Cities

How can open data rely on cooperative governance to strengthen communities and assist cities in meeting upcoming social and economic challenges? How can cooperatives share data and collaborate on technological infrastructure among their members? These are just a few of the topics that Ana Carolina Benelli will cover in this panel, which will feature real-world examples of city government, health and agricultural cooperatives, and information technology solutions for using data for social good.

Portable Worker Portfolios for the Gig Economy
Martijn Arets understands the unique challenges that come with the gig economy, especially the lack of portable worker portfolios. That’s why he created GigCV, an easy tool for anyone working in or gaining work experience in the gig economy. With this open standard, gig workers can easily download their own reputation and transaction data, which serves as proof of their work experience and skills on connected platforms. GigCV is available to 50,000 workers in the Netherlands.

File Swap
Would you like to dig deeper, learn more about the discussed topics, or have documents to share? Download PDFs of the presentations, background readings, and/or upload your own materials to this folder


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