We generate more personal data than ever before. But because of privacy concerns, we only reluctantly share it. Companies and public organizations on the other hand are very interested in using this data to provide better services and products. This conflict between privacy and opportunity is what the Fair Data project investigates.
To protect user privacy, the EU is about to launch a new data protection regulation. Businesses that don’t comply with the rules will face severe fines. What we see is a conflict between user privacy and opportunities for innovation, and this conflict risks impeding innovation.
Fair Data bridges the conflict
The Fair Data project aims to bridge this conflict by creating a privacy certification based on legal, ethical and business requirements. In essence, the certification is about responsible use of personal data.
Sara Leckner, senior lecturer in media technology at Malmö University, is one of the researchers in the project:
“User data is very valuable not only in economic terms but in all kinds of development and innovation. The issue is that people, because of privacy concerns, only reluctantly share their data. Our trust and knowledge about what companies and other organizations do with our data is very low.”
We’re also witnessing a new wave of data collection through Internet of Things applications. Using and analyzing this data is important to ensure that Swedish companies can stay in business and be internationally competitive. And public organizations need to have access to relevant data to be able to provide efficient public services.
Building trust is a key component in the Fair Data project. The Fair Data privacy certification is an attempt to establish trust between users and those who want to use personal data. Sara Leckner says:
“The Fair Data privacy certification signals that the processes that are used by private and public organizations follow laws, regulations and ethical principles. But also that they safeguard user privacy and minimize the business compromises companies today have to make to fully realize the business development potential in user data.”
The project is funded by Vinnova and is a collaboration between several Swedish companies, universities and public organizations.
» Contact Sara Leckner
» Read the article Forskningsprojekt kartlägger Sjyst data (in Swedish)