Principles for Revenue Models of Data Stewardship

31/07/2020

The balance of societal good, market innovation, and individual rights form the core of questions on data governance. These issues merit further research – to standardize the objectives, rules, and governance of data sharing across a variety of contexts and use cases. The value of a data steward, or an intermediary who works on behalf of the users and entities to manage data and its sharing is increasingly apparent.

One of the biggest concerns, given data is an intangible and valuable asset, is how business models can be structured so that stewards remain incentivized to serve the interests of individuals and communities, and do not use the data for their own ends. Data is a complex resource, and to understand potential revenue models of a steward, this paper studies resources or assets which embody the complexity of data and the accompanying ethical issues of protection.

In this paper, we root our analysis three theoretical framings: data as commons, data as labor, and data as an asset. With these framings in mind, we examine real-world examples of “stewardship” to extrapolate principles for revenue models of a data steward.

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