February 25, 2019 - Institute Publishes Workshop Report on the Political Economy of Data

The Institute today is publishing a report from its December 2018 workshop on the Political Economy of Data. The workshop, cohosted by the Tech Institute and the Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech, was convened by leading scholars Julie Cohen of Georgetown Law and Helen Nissenbaum of Cornell Tech.

The workshop brought together 35 scholars and practitioners to consider regulatory and governance issues relating to data holdings and access to data in the networked, platform-based information environment. Participants included experts in data use and governance, data privacy and protection, competition, and intellectual property law, among them practitioners from major companies, lawyers, computer scientists, data scientists and government experts.

The organizing thesis was as follows: Interests in data collection, data use, and data holdings underlie many technical and business arrangements among parties in contemporary networked markets, but we lack the legal vocabulary to describe the kinds of interests (ownership or otherwise) created by such arrangements. To foster an appropriate balance of innovation, competition, privacy, transparency, and other important goods, legal innovation will be necessary. What are the best approaches to describe these core relationships and interests?

The Institute’s report, published today, summarizes the workshop discussion and key ideas. It includes a suggested reading list of key writings on these issues, sourced from the workshop’s participants.

We invite you to read the Workshop Report here. Many thanks to Microsoft for supporting the event.