PS-SDA team knows that trust in the use of personal data is fundamental in an advanced digital economy. In this interview with team member Lotta Lundin, she tells us how they are contributing to an adequate governance framework with data, that answers the needs of the individual, organisations and auditors.
How did you hear about ONTOCHAIN and what drove you to apply?
We first heard about ONTOCHAIN via the NGI ecosystem we are part of. For us, the ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem is an important testing ground on how to build a trusted, scalable and lawful marketplace for data exchange. We represent one of the components needed to realise that vision.
Tell us a bit about the story behind your team. What drives you and what brought you together?
The PS-SDA founding team has a long background in telecoms. This highly regulated industry lost momentum to the less regulated IT industry in the convergence led by 3G and mobile broadband. Lack of regulation provided an excellent opportunity for these IT giants in creating new models based on the non-rivalrous nature of data.
The digital transformation following the 3G roll-out required vast amounts of data to be collected. Initially, there was little concern about how much of that data was personal. However, with increased data misuse, e.g. Cambridge Analytica and Internet failed to self-regulate, so the need for regulations via data laws became evident.
Over time organisations have realised that to protect the digitalisation investment, they need to 1) be lawful in their data processing, 2) ensure that their users continue to say “yes” to sharing their data and have the means to share, and 3) that big data or any data is no longer the goal but to get access to high quality and verifiable data. So, we have built a solution that addresses all three areas and could ensure that organisations get access to the right data.
Can you briefly explain your project and its contribution to the ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem?
With iGrant.io, the underlying platform for PS-SDA, ecosystems and data marketplaces have the lawful, trusted and scalable means to exchange and verify data. For the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem, we provide one of the hygiene factors for a fully functioning marketplace via data exchange agreements. In addition, we are hopeful that the end-user tools and SW we have created will help the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem.
How did you come up with this idea? What’s unique about it? And what will be the end-user benefits?
The original idea of a scalable platform for personal data exchange (iGrant.io platform) came from our first-hand frustration seeing how IT companies could do what they wanted with personal data. At the same time, telecom operators had their hands tied when offering, e.g. location-based services. Adding the regulatory aspects to data exchange and taking out pain points for organisations that want to leverage their data asset makes the data exchange platform even more consumable.
With governance control mechanisms in place for data sources and data using services and means to ensure that individuals are empowered to control both organisations and individuals can capitalise on their data assets. Individuals can be offered advanced personalisation without jeopardising their privacy. This will enable the seamless, paperless exchange of personal data while ensuring that every data transaction is trustworthy, auditable and immutable.
You are contributing to ONTOCHAIN’s mission of delivering a new software ecosystem for trusted, traceable & transparent ontological knowledge. How is ONTOCHAIN contributing to your own ambitions?
As part of ONTOCHAIN, we introduce data exchange agreements that provide a regulatory compliant solution to create an ontology that can enable traceable and trustworthy data exchange.
Creating trust registries for personal data exchange requires collaboration across national boundaries. ONTOCHAIN supports us in creating and being part of it and creates an intra-european network of trust registries. In addition, we hope we can be part of creating a business ecosystem.
How do you assess the experience of working with other teams in the co-creation of the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem? What type of synergies do you want to explore?
We are super happy with all discussions and knowledge sharing. We have an opportunity to standardise and interoperate to create a rich data ecosystem. The market potential is so huge that there is only one opportunity. So, we look for synergies to interwork, interoperate, co-exist and enhance our solution as part of this ecosystem.
What are your expectations regarding the new software ecosystem ONTOCHAIN will deliver and its contribution to the NGI priority areas?
Europe has a unique opportunity to lead a human-centric, regulated and governed Internet while continuing to create opportunities to innovate using data. ONTOCHAIN is in a unique position to contribute toward efficient machinery that could create equal opportunities with the use of data for every organisation, regardless of its size. To us, a governed infrastructure is foundational for any AI or ML conversation.
ONTOCHAIN could specifically contribute to one of NGI's key priorities of making rapid use of blockchain and ledger technologies at a reduced cost, ensuring and increasing trust, traceability and security.