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‘The data monetization trend calls for a common framework, but we need to prioritize questions of trust’

A panel of experts moderated by IMD Professor of Finance Arturo Bris, Director of the World Competitiveness Center, says governments and companies need to build citizen trust in data use.

The data monetization trend calls for a common framework

Referring to the battle between the US versus Chinese models of digitalization, Marten Kaevats, National Digital Adviser of Estonia, said that both models were ‘big brother-like’ and that we needed ‘a third option’.

“The EU is pushing for this with GDPR and getting slowly closer,” he said. “At the Tallinn Digital Summit, we convened recently to talk about ‘trusted connectivity’; an agreement on how to leverage the capacity of the private sector to invest in infrastructure. Nowadays, infrastructure is not only about bricks and mortar, but it carries a digital component too and one that needs to be trusted.”

This type of framework should be established by the Blue Dot Network – the US, Japan and Australia – but should also get countries like Estonia on board, he said, adding:

“We are hoping this idea gets traction [because] we are coming to a stage where data monetization is a thing but there needs to be some trust in it as well. And coming from a small country that has so far operated with transparency and integrity regarding data handling, we want to provide for our citizens without acting like big brother.”

Where do governments’ roles end and companies’ begin?

While government intervention is generally accepted to be necessary to respect peoples’ privacy, the question of ‘to what extent?’ remains up for debate.

In the healthcare industry, questions arise around electronic heath record data, for instance, such as: Who can have access to this data? And how can it be useful?

Read more on I by IMD, the knowledge hub of IMD

The data monetization trend calls for a common framework
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