Their value comes not from the data

Who Owns Your Data

Canada Goose Outlet Alistair Croll is the co chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference, which tackles the convergence of Big Data, ubiquitous computing, and new interfaces. The next Strata event happens in Santa Clara, CA from February 1 to 3. Canada Goose Outlet

Canada Goose Parka Karl Marx said that the industrial revolution polarized the world into two groups: those who own the means of production and those who work on them. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose clearance Today’s means of production aren’t greasy cogs and steam spewing engines, but that doesn’t mean they don’t divide us. Industrial data is all around us, and search engines, governments, financial markets, social networks and law enforcement agencies rely on it. canada goose clearance

We willingly embrace this “Big Data” world. canada goose outlet toronto address We share, friend, check in and retweet our every move. We swipe loyalty cards and enter frequent flyer numbers. We leave a growing, and apparently innocent trail of digital breadcrumbs in our wake.

But as we use the Internet for “free,” canada goose jacket outlet store we have canada goose outlet los angeles to remember that if we’re not paying for something, we’re not the customer. We are in fact the product being sold or, more specifically, our data is.

Canada Goose Jackets So here’s a tricky question: Who owns all that data? Canada Goose Jackets

Why Data Ownership Is Hard

canada goose coats The fundamental problem with data ownership is that bits don’t behave like atoms. For most of human history, our laws have focused on physical assets that couldn’t be duplicated. The old truism “possession is nine tenths of the law” doesn’t apply in a world where making a million copies, each as good as the original, is nearly effortless. canada goose coats

It’s not just the ability to copy that makes data different, however. How data is used affects its value. On the other hand, they may make money: freely sharing Monty Python videos online increased DVD sales by 23,000%. Some kinds of information canada goose clothing uk were meant to be shared. If I give my phone canada goose outlet edmonton number to someone, surely it’s gained value. But canada goose outlet official if it’s written on a bathroom wall, presumably it’s lost some.

canada goose black friday sale It is hard to get data control right, too. In 2009, Burning Man required that Burners give organizers control of any of their images that were shared by a third party. The well meaning effort to protect unwanted distribution sparked a vigorous debate about what electronic freedom really means. citizens, WikiLeaks or the newspapers that published them? canada goose black friday sale

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These questions of data ownership are all nuanced canada goose outlet las vegas issues, quick to anger and hard to resolve. We’re struggling to cope with them, both legislatively and canada goose outlet london uk culturally.

buy canada goose jacket In a number of recent cases, outdated laws are being repurposed and abused, alternately defending and restricting freedom. We’re using ancient wiretapping laws to imprison people who record law enforcement officials. At canada goose outlet toronto the same time that reading a spouse’s e mail is a criminal offense, Google canada goose outlet search history is now an admissible form of canada goose outlet store calgary evidence. attorney general has just subpoenaed the private Twitter messages of a foreign canada goose outlet shop citizen. Put another way: Big Data makes its own gravy. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose clearance sale In August 2006, America Online published a dataset of search results, hoping to provide raw material canada goose outlet online store review to researchers. The canada goose outlet london data had been anonymized, so that each searcher’s identity was just a number. Five days later, The New York Times had tracked down one of those searchers by linking her search history to other public data, such as the phone canada goose outlet in montreal book. canada goose clearance sale

canadian goose jacket At big data companies, this kind of thing happens constantly; the companies just aren’t ignorant enough to do it in public. Since 2006, canada goose outlet in usa our willingness to share canada goose jacket outlet data has risen dramatically. So has companies’ ability to mine it for new insights, and not always in ways we’d approve of. Consider the Netflix Prize, awarded for figuring out how to use our film preferences to suggest other movies. That kind of power could also be used for an “Insurance Challenge” that turns our online behavior into actuarial tables that dictate premiums and deny some of us coverage. canadian goose jacket

Canada Goose sale The Rise of the Data Marketplace Canada Goose sale

For decades, lawyers and traders have relied on companies like Thomson Reuters for the latest stock and legal news. Now startups like Gnip, Infochimps, Windows Azure DataMarket, Factual, and Datamarketplace (acquired by Infochimps) are making data easier to acquire and massage. These data marketplaces seldom create canada goose outlet paypal new data; rather, they clean it up, ensuring it’s current, and connecting buyers and suppliers. Their value comes not from the data, but from making it usable and accessible.

canada goose deals These data marketplaces can teach us an important lesson about data ownership. Ultimately, the question of who owns information is a red herring. canada goose deals

canada goose It’s Not Really About Who Owns the Data canada goose

canada goose coats on sale Thirty years ago, Stewart Brand observed that, “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the canada goose jacket uk cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.” canada goose coats on sale

Data will leak out, as it always does, despite the best efforts of hardware companies. It’ll be around forever, even if we try to impose a statute of limitations on it. And we’ll find new ways analyze it, making still more data. Yesterday’s online chaff may be the cornerstone of tomorrow’s new startup.

Canada Goose online The important question isn’t who owns the data. Ultimately, we all do. A better question is, who owns the means of analysis? Because that’s how, as Brand suggests, you get the canada goose outlet washington dc right information in the right place. The digital divide isn’t about who owns data it’s about who can put that data to work Canada Goose online.

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