Daniel Kaplan: Empowering People With Their Own Data

Daniel Kaplan is part of Fing.org and MesInfos.org and MyData.org and spoke at  European Data Ethics Forum about how to empower individuals with their own data and do meaningful things with their data.

Knowledge is power, and of course we need privacy and make sure that organisations treat our data according to the law. But we also need to gain more knowledge and possibility out of our own data. Can we empower people with their own data to get to know themselves better, to make better decisions, whatever you can think of. We must do that.

GDPR is important, but it is mostly about principles that have been around many, many years,” said Kaplan. “But the portability right is about sharing the power of data with people. That can be huge.

85% of consumers believe that in the current economy, it is the company that gains from our data. This is not sustainable growth, according to Kaplan, who’s an economist.

“The power to collect and store data is cheap and easy and in many ways, you already have it in your pockets. And a lot of things make sense to people, if they they are in a position to know about and use their own data”.

One example: Many people want to change their consumer patterns, but they are busy with their lives and end up buying fair trade coffeee and othings with green packaging. If you have your data on your purchases, you can compare it with third party databases, so you can easily reorganise your shopping list according to what you want of ingredients and what values you want the company behind the product to have.

He described that there’s a huge movement towards empowering people with their own data. Mydata.org is one. Mesinfos.fing.org in France is another and Datamixer.be in Belgium another.

But as he said, it is a big job. We need a paradigm change, as we have built the system in a way as if big corporations should sit on our data. In stead we should move on from protection to individual agency.

See Daniel Kaplan’s keynote

Watch the rest of European Data Ethics Forum talks here

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