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Democratising the Digital Revolution: The Role of Data Governance

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Delacroix, Sylvie, Joelle Pineau, and Jessica Montgomery. 2020. “Democratising the Digital Revolution: The Role of Data Governance.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network (SRRN).

This chapter explores the role that data governance can play in shaping the development of AI technologies. It starts by considering how the role of law and governance systems in the digital environment is shifting, prompted by public incidents that have exposed the negative or unintended consequences of data use for both individuals and society. As the ‘wild west’ view of the digital sphere as an ungoverned, or ungovernable space, becomes increasingly outmoded, the chapter considers how policymakers and legislators are increasingly seeking means through which to assert social values in digital systems. With a variety of legal and policy structures already seeking to influence patterns of data use and technology development, this chapter then briefly reviews recent legislative and policy activities, noting that – despite recent efforts – gaps in the policy landscape remain. Finding that new forms of bottom-up data sharing arrangement are needed to enhance democratic governance of data use, the chapter concludes by exploring the role of data trusts as a vehicle for leveraging the power associated with data aggregation.

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