Legal, Economic, and Political Reasons for Individual Ownership of Personal Data

“Data” and “privacy” are among the most frequently used buzzwords nowadays. Contact tracking, surveillance, and data usage have been subjects of many debates among policymakers, economists, and consumer rights advocates.

One of the most prominent debates revolves around answering a key question: who should own personal data and data that is generated by cell phones and smart devices? The vast majority of us would agree that individuals should be the owners of the data they generate.

Current Approach: Focus on Access, not Ownership

This may come as a surprise to you, but individual data ownership rights, which would give individuals the right to own and control their…


Consumer Privacy: Burden or Choice?

Prifina is delighted to introduce Zoe Vilain as our special guest for the fourth episode of the “Liberty. Equality. Data.” podcast.

Zoe is an industry expert who plays a big role in shaping approaches to personal data and consumer privacy in the post-GDPR and CCPA era. She is currently working as a legal counsel on all matters related to personal data. Previously, she served as Chief Privacy and Strategy Officer for a VC-backed, consumer privacy startup Jumbo. Zoe was also ranked in Business Insider’s 2020 “top 100 people to follow in consumer tech” for her work in privacy.

In this…


While legal requirements seem unmanageable, emerging user-centric data models offer a glimpse into a brighter future.

On March 18, 2021, two of Prifina’s Co-founders, Kimmo Kiviluoto and Paul Jurcys, organized a seminar “Data Transfers after Schrems II: A New Iron Curtain for Data?”. Two other legal experts participated in this event: Dr. Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci and Dr. Magdalega Goralczyk. This seminar was co-hosted with Vilnius University Law Faculty (Lithuania).

Here are some key take-aways:

  • The Schrems Saga is one of the most controversial trans-Atlantic examples of different approaches to personal data;
  • Businesses in the EU face the unfathomable burden of meeting the requirements for data transfers;
  • GAIA-X and edge computing are promising data frameworks, but they…


Personal data: The Force of Social Physics

How can personal data be used to help individuals reach their goals? How do we bridge the value asymmetry between individuals and businesses, and build applications that deliver more value to the individuals themselves?

In this episode, we talk to Dr. James Guszca, the Chief Data Scientist at Deloitte USA and a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences. Jim is a renowned expert in behavioral economics and data science with more than twenty years of experience in data, machine learning, and ethical aspects of AI. During his career, he built some of the first algorithms for the largest insurance companies, held several professorship positions, and published prolific studies on the intersection of human behavior, data, and AI.

In this podcast, we focus on the confluence of behavioral insights, machine…


“Health Data, Wearables, and Personal Value” with Steven S. Charlap, MD

In this episode, we talk to Steven S. Charlap, MD. Steven is a trained surgeon and the CEO of Soap Health, which is building a conversational, AI-powered patient and physician facing interface. Previously, Steven was the CEO of HealthDrive Corporation, the largest U.S. provider of medical and dental services to extended care facilities.

In this podcast, we focus on health data, new data generated by wearables, direct-to-consumer genome testing, and how each can generate value on different levels (personal insights, utility for physicians, health-driven incentives, and behavior adjustments). …


How Using Data from Different Sources Can Improve Your Wellbeing

The adoption of privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA)” has been an important catalyst in creating new opportunities for the use of personal data. These regulations enshrine different personal data rights that individuals can exercise vis-a-vis brands and businesses that collect personal data.

For example, individuals can now ask service providers to offer an explanation regarding what data they collect and a copy of all personal data they have collected. Such data must be provided in a readable and easy to understand format. Individuals can also ask a service provider to rectify certain…


On October 12, 2020, the Department of Justice released a third set of proposed modifications to regulations outlined in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which originally went into effect on August 14, 2020.

The Department of Justice proposed a number of modifications in three main areas:

(a) how notices about the consumer’s right to opt out from sales of data should be given when businesses interact in brick-and-mortar situations or when consumers are approached by a phone call;

(b) how businesses should process requests to opt-out;

© some improvements to consumer-to-business interaction via authorized agents.

The Prifina team closely…


Prifina launches the Liberty. Equality. Data. podcast, featuring conversations with industry leaders and pioneers about helping individuals get value from their personal data.

The Prifina team is pleased to announce the release of its new podcast series, “Liberty. Equality. Data.”

You can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and SoundCloud.

With this podcast series, we aim to foster discussions about the different kinds of value that individuals can get from their personal data. We will be inviting industry leaders and pioneers to talk about recent developments in different industries, opportunities presented by a user-held data model, and the implications of an open data market. This podcast series is a rough continuation of Prifina’s “Open Calls”.

Episode #1 with Kathy Giori

In this first episode, we talked…


Anysociety with an interest in avoiding conflicts needs a system of clear property rules.

In our previous post, we described the circumstances in which individuals can claim ownership over their personal data, namely that data in a person’s personal data cloud should be subject to individual ownership. To recap, here are our main takeaways from that article:

  • Such data could be added to a personal data cloud both manually (directly uploading certain copies of personal documents) or by uploading copies of data that individuals can request from service providers (pursuant to the GDPR or CCPA).
  • Once that data enters a personal data cloud, it is instantly processed and “normalized,” which makes it a unique…


What does ownership, and control of personal data mean to individual consumers, brands, and developers in practice?

We are entering an age where individuals have full ownership and control over their personal data. Ownership of personal data is opening new opportunities for individuals: the ability to own and control how personal data is used, liberating, and empowering.

The user-centric data model has emerged recently and is gaining more attention not only among the private citizens who believe that every individual should own their personal data.

Large companies too are looking for new opportunities to interact with their customers; while legislators around the world are moving swiftly to adopt new data privacy regulations — such as the GDPR…

Paulius Jurcys

IP | Data | Privacy | Ethics | Harvard CopyrightX. I share views on innovation, creativity & how technology is making this world a more fun place to live in.

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