Data trust alternatives
While data trusts may not be totally realistic because it'll be challenging to get companies to agree to them, there are several alternatives that may be more feasible for consumers.
Data cooperatives and unions allow individuals to choose what data is made available and to which companies. For instance, you can share your data with governments, medical researchers, and so forth. Those organizations would then use a trust to protect consumer data. According to MIT Technology Review, data trusts, unions, and cooperatives all tackle the same issue differently.
A data union is an organization in which individuals get rewards for participating in data sharing. Users join a union, consenting to let organizations use their data for various purposes. Under this model, people are incentivized to share their data, allowing them to earn money in exchange for their consent.
On the other hand, a data cooperative allows individuals to pool their data voluntarily. Cooperatives are owned and operated by members, giving them full control over important decisions, such as how data is used.
The future of data trusts
Data trusts are a thought-provoking theory. Unfortunately, business leaders may be less willing to use them since they already use their own technology solutions to collect customer and user data.
On the other hand, data trusts can improve data quality by providing AI technologies with better data resources through efficient collaboration.
Since data is so important to businesses, you shouldn't be surprised to see data trusts and other sharing models in the future. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their data is used and want to protect their privacy. Yet, they also know the importance of data for providing them with the best content.
For instance, when you watch Netflix or another streaming platform, it collects data about your preferences, providing you with tailored recommendations. While consumers want to guard their data, they know sharing it can provide them with better opportunities, but it's up to companies to encourage consumers to share that information. Therefore, one of the most likely scenarios is that data sharing will become monetized, rewarding consumers for sharing data and giving companies consent to use it in various ways.
Governments, private companies, and consumers may become more interested in data trusts as protection and privacy issues continue to loom.
Using data trusts for data governance
From AI content moderation to marketing, healthcare, and city data, consumers, companies, and governments must determine the best way to share data. Data trusts can boost data governance efforts, improving consumer trust in data sharing. Third-party intermediaries can increase data sharing while instilling confidence in consumers.
Unfortunately, trust law varies by country, with some not allowing general data trusts. Again, this concept is relatively new, so we'll have to wait to see it in practice before determining its efficacy.