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Data Ownership and Monetization


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UoC August 5, 2020

Data Ownership & Monetization

Both government and private partners have recognized the existence of a goldmine in the form of the vast repository of data collected within a smart city. But who owns this data? One perspective is that the individual owns the data and shares it with a business that then acts as a steward for that data. Another argues that no one owns the data, it simply arises from the individual. In the context of a smart city value is derived not merely from the data but from analyzing that data. This is usually undertaken by the private entity and therefore it is commonly argued that such analysis should be considered business data owned and tradeable by the private entity. In many smart cities, this is in fact true and questions may be asked of those private entities as to what they utilize the data for.

In a different scenario, the government may be the entity collecting and analyzing the data. In such cases, a question is then posed as to whether the government should be allowed to monetize data collected. 

For a perspective on this debate you may wish to read the opinion of Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision: https://www.cigionline.org/articles/monetizing-smart-city-data