World Financial Discussion board desires to standardize moral information assortment


The World Economic Forum (WEF) is drafting a global governance framework for the ethical collection and sharing of data, the organization said on Tuesday.

The WEF's Data for Common Purpose Initiative (DCPI) is the first of its kind and aims to “responsibly increase the societal usefulness of data” by creating guidelines to ensure that governments and researchers are involved in decisions that in particular The public can rely more easily on data in crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the announcement.

Sheila Warren, head of data, blockchain and digital assets at WEF, told CoinDesk that ensiling or isolating data has delayed humanity's ability to respond to the pandemic with the speed and agility it needed.

"While (siloing data) is often either from good intentions or, more realistically, business needs, it has really significant ramifications," said Warren, who co-hosted CoinDesk's Money Reimagined podcast, pointing out the issues related to personal issues Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations and supply chains during the pandemic.

The DCPI hopes to align data policies and models around a number of “common purposes” such as public health, environmental protection and disaster management, while ensuring that individuals' personal data cannot be used for unauthorized purposes.

The project is already supported by 10 governments and over 50 global partners, including the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and blockchain platforms such as Elastos.

Warren said a number of pilot projects have been launched in Japan, Colombia and India. It is important to note, however, that the WEF is focused on political pilots rather than traditional technical proof-of-concept projects.

"Differentiated authorization"

One aim of the initiative is to enable differentiated authorization of the same data for different purposes. This means that users can set permissions on how their data can be used.

For example, the initiative asks you to imagine a world where devices collect your vital signs and medical information. However, you can set permissions on how this data is used for research or testing purposes related to COVID-19, cancer, dementia, and more, or if you get paid to have someone want to use your data for market research.

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According to the initiative, user data will be "automatically encrypted, anonymized and transmitted along with the rules for managing digital rights to ensure that the data cannot be used for other purposes", comparing the exchange of personal data with the controlled exchange of music .

Warren said people should be able to make a decision about what to do with their data, beyond the yes-or-no choice currently available.

"I don't think the general tenor is that all data should be approved by every individual. I think the idea is that we create a system in which this can be done," said Warren.

The role of the blockchain

According to the WEF announcement, the prioritization of data protection and privacy by institutions over constructive exchanges of data has resulted in the full value of the data being lost and data management guidelines being rapidly fragmented.

"I think there are a lot of ways to protect privacy and also share data," said Warren, adding that blockchain can help, whether it is data exchange, access or encryption.

The DCPI partner, the Elastos Foundation, is developing a collection of open source software for building a free and decentralized Internet.

Donald Bullers, Global Technical Lead at Elastos, said CoinDesk's blockchain companies can incorporate guidelines and visions stemming from initiatives like the DCPI into customer-facing products.

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"We can have some of these discussions about data marketplaces, data sharing, global accessibility … and we can implement that into the software we develop," said Bullers.

Blockchain also plays a role in privacy by providing a new way to think about permissions, Warren added. According to Bullers, Elastos creates a specific profile for each person in which they can store data privately and control the “inbound-outbound” of their data.

"They're already giving a lot of your information to those big companies or those isolated companies that keep it on their own servers. You're in complete control, and you're okay with it." However, we are really trying to turn this around and make it so that the person or those who want control over their own data can do so, ”said Bullers.

Bullers added that blockchain can only address small parts of the larger problem of data management.

"Blockchains don't solve all of the Internet's problems," said Zach Warsavage, PR director at Elastos, to CoinDesk.

Blockchains are public and "terribly inefficient" at storing large amounts of data, so other technologies would be required to support each blockchain base.

Pilot projects

According to Warren, the DCPI will use the global network and reputation of the WEF to provide impetus for the multi-year program, and there are already two pilot programs in motion.

The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Colombia is working with the city of Medellin to develop a government-run data market where data providers and consumers can be connected, the WEF announcement said.

In Norway, the WEF Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Ocean is working with conservation and government partners to improve the environmental footprint of the marine industry by tackling emissions, plastic waste and overfishing.

“The“ Data for Common Purposes ”initiative provides us with a solid platform on which we can collaborate both in developing content and in working with ambitious partners from all sectors,” said Bjørn Tore Markussen, managing director of the center for the fourth industrial revolution in Norway. said in the WEF announcement.

Two more pilots are in the works in Japan and India, Warren said. The WEF is working with the Japanese government and the private sector to study data sharing and resolve issues ranging from public health to civil protection to road safety. In India, the initiative deals with the exchange of data relating to agriculture.


Melinda Martin