Posted on Categories data economy

Data as crypto-assets

At first glance, it may not seem obvious to treat data as crypto-assets. But a closer look shows that the current and planned regulations for this new asset class could serve as a key legal framework for the future data economy.

The data economy and blockchain have a lot in common. Blockchain and data tokenisation are also a theme running through our data economy publications. Blockchain has revived the discussion of data tokenisation, i.e. turning data into an identifiable and tradable digital asset.

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Posted on Categories data economy

What’s the MyData movement all about?

The contemporary debate about data, including discussions of the legal status of data, are hard to understand without defining the broader context. One element of this context is the demands of the movement referred to collectively as “MyData.”

A European strategy for data,” published by the European Commission in February 2020, alludes to the MyData movement in the context of the challenge presented by inadequate technological support for data subjects in managing their own personal data. On one hand the Commission perceives the potential inherent in personal data, in particular the potential for the data subjects themselves. Appropriately managed personal data can improve the quality of services received by data subjects (e.g. in the area of healthcare) and increase their control over their data. On the other hand, the Commission found that there is a lack of appropriate tools for managing data, and thus the inherent potential of the data is not being exploited to the fullest.

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Posted on Categories data economy

Different layers of data

The conceptual framework of the data economy also requires an understanding of the division of data into different layers. This may have great legal significance.

From a legal perspective, one of the most important issues of the data economy is undoubtedly the civil-law status of data (as we discussed in another article). However, it crucial to distinguish between different data layers. It turns out that when talking about “data,” we may be referring in practice to different dimensions of data.

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Posted on Categories data economy

New series: Data economy

We are launching a series of articles on the data economy. We use this term to refer collectively to new models of the economy in which the principal role is played by data. Data are becoming an asset in their own right which is more and more often the subject of commercial exchange. This doesn’t mean only personal data. It also, or even primarily, means non-personal data of all sorts, including those generated or gathered by machines, whose value we are only beginning to discover.

We were spurred to develop a series of texts on this topic by the more and more frequently encountered question “Who owns data?” We hear this from clients, tech firms, and startups. Under the surface of this seemingly trivial question lurks the essence of the legal challenges connected with the data economy. It turns out that the legal status of data is not always obvious and it cannot easily be determined who owns data or what is the substance of rights to data.

We would like to expose some sensitive areas where the law does not yield the desired answers to fundamental questions about the rules of the data economy. Along the way, we will attempt to systematise the existing regulations, to determine to what extent they could apply to data.

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Posted on Categories blockchain, changes in law

Blockchain and outsourcing

The Polish regulations directly referring to blockchain will be joined on 19 September 2020 by the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 9 March 2020 on Documents Connected with Banking Activities on IT Data Carriers. It expressly permits banks to store documents connected with banking activities on blockchain.

Under §5(2) of the new regulation, “A document may be stored in the form of a distributed and decentralised database. The bank shall operate the database in a manner ensuring the security and integrity of the documents contained in the database.” The phrase “distributed and decentralised database” used in this provision refers to blockchain, as is expressly stated in the justification to the draft of the regulation. Moreover, the identical phrase is used in other legal acts to refer to blockchain technology (e.g. in the provisions of the Commercial Companies Code devoted to the ledger of stockholders).

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