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Vestager: We Need To Change Behaviour and Demand Privacy

News. Data protection regulation and antitrust are two regulative ways of gaining and preserving Europeans’ rights to privacy. And some of the tools for individuals to control their own data could be new services like personal data stores and services built on the blockchain.

Those were the main topics of a packed meeting in Friday 9th September in Copenhagen featuring EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and professor Frank Pasquale and other experts and founders of alternative to the data monopolies.

Full House at the in Copenhagen City discussing data monopolies vs individual control

Here are some of the key points from the EU antitrust chief (a recording of the speak will be available for members in a while) posted on Twitter by various people:

Consumer awareness of data collection and usage is fundamental in driving a more ethical data practice.

Our data is a currency we use as payment, but we don’t know the value.

Personal control over one’s own data create trust and competition.

We need to make sure that those who benefit from data also share the risks.

Tech can bring enormous gains for a few, tremendous risks for the majority. vestager99-2

Vestager also made news in Reuters, when she told the audience that the German anti-trust authorities are investigating Facebook and that it is not only the anti trust regulation but also the data regulation at stake.

“The German authority is concerned that Facebook may have forced its users to accept privacy terms that aren’t in line with the data protection rules,” she said.

After her speak, Frank Pasquale, law professor at University of Maryland and author of The Black Box Society joined the conversation over video link to give his view.pasquale

Pasquale (on the screen to the right) said that the US government is promoting big us data monopoly platforms abroad and therefore he thanked Vestager for inspiring leadership. His book shows how secret algorithms rule the digital world and he said that we need some kind of independent certification program for algorithms.

After the break CEO and founder of UK-based CitizenMe StJ Deakins told about his start-up wanting to help people regain control over their data and may be even make money on them. stj-cop

Deakins (to the right) said that more and more people are worried about the lack of control over their data, and that he believed we will see more wanting to understand their own data and the value of them.

Jens Lunn and Annemette Broch of Data for Good Foundation with Margrethe Vestager
Jens Lunn and Annemette Broch of Data for Good Foundation with Margrethe Vestager

Annemette Broch and Jens Lunn of the Denmark-based non-profit start-up, Data for Good Foundation, explained how they want to gather health data and match it with behavioural data for the benefit of the individual users while insurance companies and others only can gain access to aggregated and anonymous data. They also said that a main challenge for them is data security and funding.


Associate Professor Francesco Lapenta (to the left), gave a speed-talk on the blockchain form a historical and sociology point of view.  

Magrethe Vestager is has not only been labelled the Queen of Brussels. She is also a Twitter Queen which she showed at the meeting:


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