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Some Challenges of ‘Keeping Personal Data Personal’

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priceDominic Price, Horizon Digital Economy Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham describes some of the difficulties faced by his team in their attempts to develop systems that empower users to control their own data.


One of the key themes in Horizon, since it started 5+ years ago, has been ‘keeping personal data personal’. What we’ve tended to mean by this is that an individual should retain all the rights to the digital data that they produce (social media content, data from smart meters in the home, data from activity loggers, and so on) and that the individual should be the ultimate gatekeeper of access to that data. This simple idea is a reversal of the way that most current service providers implement their systems, the usual method is that user data is uploaded to the service providers servers and the service provider then maintains and controls access to that data.

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CREATe data and evidence: introducing OMeBa

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Online behaviour is changing rapidly due to technological
progress. The legal framework, and copyOMeBa-docright policy specifically, needs to keep pace with digital innovation and new business models. These changes in consumption of digital goods are also challenging existing theoretical propositions, requiring new academic attention. The use of appropriate data is crucial for the understanding of the perplexing patterns of online behaviour.

CREATe acknowledges this need and through various research projects it has explored empirically important aspects of copyright policy. Two recent resources are of particular interest: (i) the Copyright Evidence Wiki, which is available here, focuses on fully categorising all the relevant empirical studies for informed copyright policy interventions and (ii) the Online Media Behaviour analytics (OMeBa) platform, which can be found here, offers easy access to a unique data source related to online behaviour. This blog post introduces OMeBa (more information about the Copyright Evidence Wiki is available here: launch event video and slides).

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Announcing the CREATe Festival 2016

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The ‘CREATe Festival 2016’ will take place in London on 23 & 24 June. This will be a showcase of the findings of CREATe’s research programme, and a vehicle to engage with a wider community – in the CREATe spirit!

The Festival will play host to a multitude of public engagement events where delegates will be able to participate in behavioural experiments, a workshop on intellectual property and fashion, an exhibition on art forgery, the award of a hackathon prize, and the launch of CREATe’s very own tartan.

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