The US politician and entrepreneur, James Felton Keith (JFK), an outspoken advocate for fair remuneration in exchange for personal data, has joined Streamr’s newly inaugurated Data Union Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board will guide Streamr in its endeavour to empower internet users through the use of Data Unions. Data Unions allow internet users to crowdsell their information for the first time in the internet’s history, whether it’s their musical preferences via a Spotify Data Union, or their browsing history via Swash, the first Data Union in the Streamr ecosystem. Instead of tech giants, individuals can reclaim control and ownership over their own data.
As privately-commissioned research by Streamr has shown, internet users are indeed eager to sell their data. However, until recently, there hasn’t been a marketplace for private data vendors.
“I believe that personal data is an individual’s property. And, as such, individuals deserve to receive a fair share of the value they’re co-creating. So far we’ve been lacking the infrastructure to do so, Data Unions are the way to go so everyone can receive a data dividend.” — JFK
Along with JFK, industry veterans and academics alike have joined Streamr’s effort to unlock the hidden value of personal data through Data Unions, and create a fair and just data economy. Other prominent members of the Streamr Data Union Advisory Board include the Italian economist Maria Savona, who is a professor of Innovation and Evolutionary Economics at the University of Sussex in the UK. Maria is a former member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission.
“One of the main challenges of the data economy is unpacking the black box of large tech’s business models, in order to understand the massive private value concentrations stemming from personal data. We need to build on the existing European legal frameworks we’ve been provided with, like the GDPR, to go beyond protecting privacy, allowing individuals to have broader agency on personal data, and be given choices on whether and how to share their data freely through intermediaries such as Data Unions.”
RadicalxChange’s president, Matt Prewit, has also signed up to the board. At RadicalxChange, he advocates for a reform of the data economy and is a known voice in the Web 3 space. And this, in essence, mirrors what the Data Unions framework is doing — bringing the best of the Web 3 space into the Web 2 stack; decentralizing power through improved user control and the ability to monetise data evenly.
“Currently, we’re seeing a mismatch between value creators online and those who extract value online. I think that, through the integration of Web 3 technologies, we can rebalance the power dynamics of today’s internet. Through Data Unions, value creators get the opportunity to reclaim their ownership and to get remunerated fairly.”
Other members of Streamr’s new Data Union Advisory Board include Arnold Mhlamvu, Brian Zisk and Peter Gerard — all three music and film industry veterans who will help Streamr make Spotify or Netflix Data Unions a new normal. Mhlamvu launched Beatroot Africa, the fastest-growing digital content distribution company in Africa. Zisk produces conferences, including the Future of Money Summit, the SF MusicTech Summit, and other events including hackathons. He is also a seed investor and advisor to Chia Network. Gerard is an award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur, and a leading expert in marketing and distribution for films and series.
With Alex Craven, the board has acquired a seasoned Data Union advocate. Since 2014, Alex has been exploring the issues surrounding personal data and trust, working on a Data Mutual Society concept. He is now the founder of the gov-tech startup The Data City, and has joined Streamr previously at Mozfest, to talk about Data Unions live on stage as part of the ‘Should we sell our data?’ panel.
And last but not least, Davide Zaccagninihas also joined the Streamr Data Union Advisory Board. Davide is a former surgeon and informatics researcher at MIT. While covering leadership positions in US startups and corporations, he served on the Advisory Board of the W3C. He will help Streamr navigate the complex world of standards and regulations when it comes to introducing the Data Union framework as a new global tool.