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Treating data as commons is more beneficial, says UN report

Graphic representing community data

Community data “could be about a community’s social relationships or about artefactual or natural ‘things’ owned by the community, such as public infrastructural and environmental data”, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) Digital Economy Report that focusses on value creation and capture in the digital economy by developing countries. On the question of ownership of data, the report acknowledges that it is “difficult” to establish that. “Ownership might not even be the appropriate term.” — Digital Economy Report, UNCTAD Advantages of treating data as part of commons The report analyses two legal approaches to treating data as an economic resource: as a commons, or as private property, but lists the advantages of the former: When data has public good aspect, community would want to exercise rights over it: “Some data have a strong commons or public…

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