Data cooperatives in Europe: A legal and empirical investigation

February 11, 2022

As part of Harvard’s research sprint on cooperative data governance, Elettra BiettiAnder ExteberriaMorhsed Mannanand Janis Wong argued that the direction data cooperativism is taking place in Europe…

… remains in line with a neoliberal focus on personal data and the individual imperative for each person to govern ‘their’ data

In this light, the Data Governance Act would not significantly alter the status quo for collective data governance mechanisms despite introducing the concept of data cooperatives. The authors find this attributable to the GDPR focus on personal data, which would enable cooperativism for non-personal data only. On the contrary, personal data, as highlighted in recital 24 DGA, would always require consent at the individual level, therefore making any delegation or conferral of rights to a third party impossible for personal data.

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