The Key Elements for Data Intermediaries to Deliver Their Promise

The Key Elements for Data Intermediaries to Deliver Their Promise

2022/12/13

  As human history enters the era of data economy, data has become the new oil. It feeds artificial intelligence algorithms that are disrupting how advertising, healthcare, transportation, insurance, and many other industries work. The excitement of having data as a key production input lies in the fact that it is a non-rivalrous good that does not diminish by consumption.[1] However, the fact that people are reluctant in sharing data due to privacy and trade secrets considerations has been preventing countries to realize the full value of data. [2]

  To release more data, policymakers and researchers have been exploring ways to overcome the trust dilemma. Of all the discussions, data intermediaries have become a major solution that governments are turning to. This article gives an overview of relevant policy developments concerning data intermediaries and a preliminary analysis of the key elements that policymakers should consider for data intermediaries to function well.

I. Policy and Legal developments concerning data intermediaries

  In order to unlock data’s full value, many countries have started to focus on data intermediaries. For example, in 2021, the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) to publish a report on data intermediaries[3] , in response to the 2020 National Data Strategy.[4] In 2020, the European Commission published its draft Data Governance Act (DGA)[5] , which aims to build up trust in data intermediaries and data altruism organizations, in response to the 2020 European Strategy for Data.[6] The act was adopted and approved in mid-2022 by the Parliament and Council; and will apply from 24 September 2023.[7] The Japanese government has also promoted the establishment of data intermediaries since 2019, publishing guidance to establish regulations on data trust and data banks.[8]

II. Key considerations for designing effective data intermediary policy

1.Evaluate which type of data intermediary works best in the targeted country

  From CDEI’s report on data intermediaries and the confusion in DGA’s various versions of data intermediary’s definition, one could tell that there are many forms of data intermediaries. In fact, there are at least eight types of data intermediaries, including personal information management systems (PIMS), data custodians, data exchanges, industrial data platforms, data collaboratives, trusted third parties, data cooperatives, and data trusts.[9] Each type of data intermediary was designed to combat data-sharing issues in specific countries, cultures, and scenarios. Hence, policymakers need to evaluate which type of data intermediary is more suitable for their society and market culture, before investing more resources to promote them.

  For example, data trust came from the concept of trust—a trustee managing a trustor’s property rights on behalf of his interest. This practice emerged in the middle ages in England and has since developed into case law.[10] Thus, the idea of data trust is easily understood and trusted by the British people and companies. As a result, British people are more willing to believe that data trusts will manage their data on their behalf in their best interest and share their valuable data, compared to countries without a strong legal history of trusts. With more people sharing their data, trusts would have more bargaining power to negotiate contract terms that are more beneficial to data subjects than what individual data owners could have achieved. However, this model would not necessarily work for other countries without a strong foundation of trust law.

2.Quality signals required to build trust: A government certificate system can help overcome the lemon market problem

  The basis of trust in data intermediaries depends largely on whether the service provider is really neutral in its actions and does not reuse or sell off other parties’ data in secret. However, without a suitable way to signal their service quality, the market would end up with less high-quality service, as consumers would be reluctant to pay for higher-priced service that is more secure and trustworthy when they have no means to verify the exact quality.[11] This lemon market problem could only be solved by a certificate system established by actors that consumers trust, which in most cases is the government.

  The EU government clearly grasped this issue as a major obstacle to the encouragement of trust in data intermediaries and thus tackles it with a government register and verification system. According to the Data Government Act, data intermediation services providers who intend to provide services are required to notify the competent authority with information on their legal status, form, ownership structure, relevant subsidiaries, address, public website, contact details, the type of service they intend to provide, the estimated start date of activities…etc. This information would be provided on a website for consumers to review. In addition, they can request the competent authority to confirm their legal compliance status, which would in turn verify them as reliable entities that can use the ‘data intermediation services provider recognised in the Union’ label.

3.Overcoming trust issues with technology that self-enforces privacy: privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs)

  Even if there are verified data intermediation services available, businesses and consumers might still be reluctant to trust human organizations. A way to boost trust is to adopt technologies that self-enforces privacy. A real-world example is OpenSAFELY, a data intermediary implementing privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to provide health data sharing in a secure environment. Through a federated analytics system, researchers are able to conduct research with large volumes of healthcare data, without the ability to observe any data directly. Under such protection, UK NHS is willing to share its data for research purposes. The accuracy and timeliness of such research have provided key insights to inform the UK government in decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  With the benefits it can bring, unsurprisingly, PETs-related policies have become quite popular around the globe. In June 2022, Singapore launched its Digital Trust Centre (DTC) for accelerating PETs development and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Centre of Expertise of Montreal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) to collaborate on PETs.[12] On September 7th, 2022, the UK Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) published draft guidance on PETs.[13] Moreover, the U.K. and U.S. governments are collaborating on PETs prize challenges, announcing the first phase winners on November 10th, 2022.[14] We could reasonably predict that more PETs-related policies would emerge in the coming year.

[1] Yan Carrière-Swallow and Vikram Haksar, The Economics of Data, IMFBlog (Sept. 23, 2019), https://blogs.imf.org/2019/09/23/the-economics-of-data/#:~:text=Data%20has%20become%20a%20key,including%20oil%2C%20in%20important%20ways (last visited July 22, 2022).

[2] Frontier Economics, Increasing access to data across the economy: Report prepared for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (2021), https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974532/Frontier-access_to_data_report-26-03-2021.pdf (last visited July 22, 2022).

[3] The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), Unlocking the value of data: Exploring the role of data intermediaries (2021), https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1004925/Data_intermediaries_-_accessible_version.pdf (last visited June 17, 2022).

[4] Please refer to the guidelines for the selection of sponsors of the 2022 Social Innovation Summit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-national-data-strategy/national-data-strategy (last visited June 17, 2022).

[5] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European data governance and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1724 (Data Governance Act), 2020/0340 (COD) final (May 4, 2022).

[6] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and The Committee of the Regions— A European strategy for data, COM/2020/66 final (Feb 19, 2020).

[7] Proposal for a Regulation on European Data Governance, European Parliament Legislative Train Schedule, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-europe-fit-for-the-digital-age/file-data-governance-act(last visited Aug 17, 2022).

[8] 周晨蕙,〈日本資訊信託功能認定指引第二版〉,科技法律研究所,https://stli.iii.org.tw/article-detail.aspx?no=67&tp=5&d=8422(最後瀏覽日期︰2022/05/30)。

[9] CDEI, supra note 3.

[10] Ada Lovelace Institute, Exploring legal mechanisms for data stewardship (2021), 30~31,https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Legal-mechanisms-for-data-stewardship_report_Ada_AI-Council-2.pdf (last visited Aug 17, 2022).

[11] George A. Akerlof, The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism, THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS, 84(3), 488-500 (1970).

[12] IMDA, MOU Signing Between IMDA and CEIMIA is a Step Forward in Cross-border Collaboration on Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) (2022),https://www.imda.gov.sg/-/media/Imda/Files/News-and-Events/Media-Room/Media-Releases/2022/06/MOU-bet-IMDA-and-CEIMIA---ATxSG-1-Jun-2022.pdf (last visited Nov. 28, 2022).

[13] ICO publishes guidance on privacy enhancing technologies, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/media-centre/news-and-blogs/2022/09/ico-publishes-guidance-on-privacy-enhancing-technologies/ (last visited Nov. 27, 2022).

[14] U.K. and U.S. governments collaborate on prize challenges to accelerate development and adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies, GOV.UK, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-us-governments-collaborate-on-prize-challenges-to-accelerate-development-and-adoption-of-privacy-enhancing-technologies (last visited Nov. 28, 2022); Winners Announced in First Phase of UK-US Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Prize Challenges, NIST, https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2022/11/winners-announced-first-phase-uk-us-privacy-enhancing-technologies-prize (last visited Nov. 28, 2022).

※The Key Elements for Data Intermediaries to Deliver Their Promise,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=8923 (Date:2024/06/24)
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The Research on ownership of cell therapy products

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For example, when proteins are produced from isolated cells, the proteins can be deemed as natural profits and the ownership of proteins and isolated cells all belong to the owner of the cells[6].   Nevertheless, according to Article 814 of the Civil Code, it is stipulated that “When a person has contributed work to a personal property belonging to another, the ownership of the personal property upon which the work is done belongs to the owner of the material thereof. However, if the value of the contributing work obviously exceeds the value of the material, the ownership of the personal property upon which the work is done belongs to the contributing person.” Thus, scholar believes that since regenerative medical technology, which induces cell differentiation, involves quite complex biotechnology technology, and should be deemed as contributing work. Therefore, the ownership of cell products after contributing work should belongs to the contributing person[7]. Thus, if the provider provides the cells to the researcher, after complex biotechnology contributing work, the original ownership of the cells should be deemed to have been eliminated, and there is no basis for providers to claim ownership.   However, since the development of cell therapy products involves a series of R&D activities, it still need to be clarified that who is entitled to the ownership of the final cell therapy products. According to Taiwan’s Civil Code, the ownership of product after contributing work should belongs to the contributing person. However, when there are numerous contributing persons, which person should the ownership belong to, might be determined on a case-by-case basis. 3. Conclusion   The biggest difference between cell therapy products and all other small molecule drugs or biologics is that original cell materials are provided by donors or providers, and the whole development process involves numerous contributing persons. Hence, ownership disputes are prone to arise.   In addition to the above-discussed disputes, United Kingdom Co-ordinating Committee on Cancer Research(UKCCCR)also noted that there is a long list of people and organizations who might lay claim to the ownership of specimens and their derivatives, including the donor and relatives, the surgeon and pathologist, the hospital authority where the sample was taken, the scientists engaged in the research, the institution where the research work was carried out, the funding organization supporting the research and any collaborating commercial company. Thus, the ultimate control of subsequent ownership and patent rights will need to be negotiated[8].   Since the same issues might also occur in Taiwan, while developing cell therapy products, carefully clarifying the ownership between stakeholders is necessary for avoiding possible dispute. [1]American Medical Association [AMA], Commercial Use of Human Biological Materials, Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 7.3.9, Nov. 14, 2016, https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics/commercial-use-human-biological-materials (last visited Jan. 3, 2021). [2]Moore v. Regents of University of California, 793 P.2d 479 (Cal. 1990) [3]Greenberg v. Miami Children's Hospital Research Institute, 264 F. Suppl. 2d, 1064 (SD Fl. 2003) [4]Washington University v. Catalona, 490 F 3d 667 (8th Cir. 2007) [5]Medical Research Council [MRC], Human Tissue and Biological Samples for Use in Research: Operational and Ethical Guidelines, 2019, https://mrc.ukri.org/publications/browse/human-tissue-and-biological-samples-for-use-in-research/ (last visited Jan. 3, 2021). [6]Wen-Hui Chiu, The legal entitlement of human body, tissue and derivatives in civil law, Angle Publishing, 2016, at 327. [7]id, at 341. [8]Okano, M., Takebayashi, S., Okumura, K., Li, E., Gaudray, P., Carle, G. F., & Bliek, J. UKCCCR guidelines for the use of cell lines in cancer research.Cytogenetic and Genome Research,86(3-4), 1999, https://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC2363383&blobtype=pdf (last visited Jan. 3, 2021).

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Government’s Relevant Social Enterprise Policy and Resources   The ministries of the Taiwan Government have been promoting relevant policies in accordance with the Social Innovation Action Plan issued by the Executive Yuan in 2018, such as the “Registration System for Social Innovation Enterprises” (counseling of social enterprises), the “Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement”, the “Social Innovation Platform” established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the “Social Innovation Manager Training Courses”, the “Promoting Social Innovation and Employment Opportunities” administered by the Ministry of Labor, and the “University Social Responsibility Program” published by the Ministry of Education. Among the above policies stands out the measures adopted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and a brief introduction of those policies are as follows: i. Social Innovation Platform   To connect all resources involved in social issues to promote social innovation development in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs established the “Social Innovation Platform”.[2] With visibility through the Social Innovation Platform, it has become more efficient to search for targets in a public and transparent way and to assist with the input of resources originally belonging to different fields in order to expand social influence.   As a digital platform gathering “social innovation issues in Taiwan,” the Social Innovation Platform covers multiple and complete social innovation resources, which include the “SDGs Map” constructed on the Social Innovation Platform, by which we can better understand how county and city governments in Taiwan implement SDGs and Voluntary Local Review Reports, and which allow us to search the Social Innovation Database[3] and the registered organizations, by which citizens, enterprises, organizations, and even local governments concerned with local development can find their partners expediently as possible, establish service lines to proactively assist public or private entities with their needs/resources, and continue to enable the regional revitalization organizations, ministries, and enterprises to identify and put forward their needs for social innovation through the function of “Social Innovation Proposals”, which assist social innovation organizations with visibility while advancing cooperation and expanding social influence.   In addition, the “Event Page” was established on the Social Innovation Platform and offers functions, such as the publishing, searching, and sorting of events in four major dimensions with respect to social innovation organization, governments, enterprises, and citizens; and encourages citizens, social innovation organizations, enterprises, and governments to devote themselves via open participation to continuously expande the influence of the (Civic Technology) Social Innovation Platform. The “Corporate Social Responsibility Report” collects the corporate social responsibility reports, observes the distribution of resources for sustainable development by corporations in Taiwan, offers filtering functions by regions, keyword, popular rankings, and or SDGs types, and provides contact information and a download function for previous years’ reports, in order to effectively assist social innovation organizations to obtain a more precise understanding of the status quo, needs, and trends with respect to their development of respective products and services. Figure 1: SDGs Map Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) Figure 2: Social Innovation Database Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) Figure 3: Social Innovation Proposals Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) Figure 4: Event Page Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) Figure 5: Corporate Social Responsibility Report Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) ii. Social Innovation Database   To encourage social innovation organizations to disclose their social missions, products and services, and to guide society to understand the content of social innovation, and to assist the administrative ministries to be able to utilize such information, the Ministry of Economic Affairs issued the “Principles of Registration of Social Innovation Organizations” to establish the “Social Innovation Database”.   Once a social innovation organization discloses the items, such as its social missions, business model, or social influence, it may obtain the relevant promotional assistance resources, including becoming a trade partner with Buying Power (Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement), receiving exclusive consultation and assistance from professionals for social innovation organizations, and becoming qualified to apply to entering into the Social Innovation Lab.Moreover, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is simultaneously consolidating, identifying, and designating the awards and grants offered by the various ministries, policies and measures in respect of investment, and financing and assistance, as resources made available to registered entities.   As of 25 May 2021, there were 658 registered social innovation organizations and 96 Social Innovation Partners (enterprises with CSR or ESG resources that recognize the cooperation with social innovation under the social innovation thinking model may be registered as a “Social Innovation Partner”).The public and enterprises can search for organizations registered in the Social Innovation Database through the above-said Social Innovation Platform, the search ability of which advances the exposure of and the opportunities for cooperation with social innovation organizations. Figure 6: Numbers of registered social innovation organizations and accumulated value of purchases under Buying Power Reference: Social Innovation Platform(https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/) iii. Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement   In order to continue increasing the awareness on social innovation organizations and related issues and promote responsible consumption and production in Taiwan, as well as to raise the attention of the commercial sector to the sustainability-driven procurement models, the Ministry of Economic Affairs held the first “Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement” event in 2017. Through the award system under the Buying Power, it continues to encourage the governments, state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and organizations to take the lead in purchasing products or services from social innovation organizations, to provide the relevant resources so as to assist social innovation organizations to obtain resources and to explore business opportunities in the markets, to practice responsible consumption and production, and to promote innovative cooperation between all industries and commerce and social innovation organizations.   The aim of the implementation of the Buying Power is to encourage the central and local governments, state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and non-governmental organizations to purchase products or services from organizations registered in the Social Innovation Database, while prizes will be awarded based on the purchase amounts accumulated during the calculation period. The winners can obtain priority in applying for membership in the Social Innovation Partner Group, with corresponding member services, in the future.   Under the Social Innovation Platform, both the amount of purchase awards and the number of applicants for special awards continue to increase.So far, purchases have accumulated to a value of more than NT$1.1 billion (see Figure 6), and more than 300 organizations have proactively participated. iv. Social Innovation Mark   In order to promote public awareness of social innovation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been charged with the commissioned task of promoting the Social Innovation Mark, and issued “ The Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Directions for Authorization of the Social Innovation Mark” as the standard for the authorization of the Social Innovation Mark. Social innovation organizations can use the Mark, through obtaining authorization, to hold Social Innovation Summits or other social innovation activities for promoting social innovation concepts.   In order to build the Mark as a conceptual symbol of social innovation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been using the Social Innovation Mark in connection with various social innovation activities, such as the Social Innovation Platform, the Buying Power, and the annual Social Innovation Summit. Taking the selection of sponsors of the Social Innovation Summit in 2022 as an example[4], only organizations that have obtained authorization of the Social Innovation Mark can use the Mark to hold the Social Innovation Summit. Figure 7: The Social Innovation Mark of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs IV. Conclusion   The “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development” (OECD) regards social innovation as a new strategy for solving future social problems and as an important method for youth entrepreneurship and social enterprise development.Taiwan’s social innovation energy has entered a stage of expansion and development. Through the promotion of the “Social Innovation Action Plan,” the resources from the central and local governments are integrated to establish the Social Innovation Platform, the Social Innovation Database, the Social Innovation Lab, and the Social Innovation Mark. In addition, incentives such as the Buying Power have been created, manifesting the positive influence of Taiwan’s social innovation. [1] MDGs are put forward by the United Nations in 2000, and are also the goals requiring all the 191 member states and at least 22 international organizations of the United Nations to be committed to on their best endeavors, including: 1. eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, 2. applying universal primary education, 3. promoting gender equality and empowering women, 4. reducing child mortality rates, 5. improving maternal health, 6. combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 7. ensuring environmental sustainability, and 8. establishing a global partnership for development. [2] Please refer to the Social Innovation Platform: https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/. [3] Please refer to the Social Innovation Database: https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/Home/Org_list. [4] Please refer to the guidelines for the selection of sponsors of the 2022 Social Innovation Summit: https://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/files/6221/4753E497-B422-4303-A8D4-35AE0B4043A9

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