The COVID crisis has shown that ethical and effective uses of data and increased sharing of data can save lives and can be critical for society as a whole (by contrast to the use of data made by private entities for commercial purposes that generally draw more – media and policy – attention). Tragically, traditional data governance mechanisms generally do not have an established “crisis mode” switch that can be flipped during a pandemic, natural disaster, cyberattack, or other catastrophe in order to facilitate the use of data for public good. As the world continues to navigate through various crises and increasingly relies on the efficient use of available data and as the push for increased data sharing is growing (at least in Europe), it is crucial for citizens and particularly for the younger generations to proactively engage in shaping and implementing new data governance mechanisms that shall foster altruistic data sharing. New data governance models based on data philanthropy / “data altruism”, on the collectivization of the exercise of data rights and on “data intermediaries”, are envisioned in recent regulatory instruments (the recent EU Data Governance Act - Regulation 2022/868 on European data governance). The future success of these models will of course depend on how they will be practically implemented. Their success will however essentially depend on whether and how people will adopt them, specifically the youth who will be the key providers of data.
Jacques de Werra, law professor and Director of the Digital Law Center at the University of Geneva joned Leah Plunkett, faculty at Harvard Law School and Berkman Klein associate with the Youth and Media team, for a dynamic dialogue about the big-picture questions and challenges around data governance and altruistic data sharing models, as well as a deep dive into the resonance and realities of these questions on children and teenagers—and what youth themselves could do to help shape effective altruistic data sharing models.
The session builds upon a position paper on “Governance Mechanisms for Access and Use of Data in Public Health Crises: Call for Action” that was just published by an interdisciplinary group of Swiss scholars in the framework of a joint project between the University of Geneva and the University of Zurich (co-led by Prof. de Werra).
This event was held in collaboration with International Legal Studies.
Second in a series of events sponsored by the Orrick Fund for the Colloquium on Cybersecurity/Cyberlaw.