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Saving the web by decentralizing data networks? A socio-technical reflection on the promise of decentralization and personal data stores

Peter Mechant (UGent) , Ralf De Wolf (UGent) , Mathias Van Compernolle (UGent) , Glen Joris (UGent) , Tom Evens (UGent) and Lieven De Marez (UGent)
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Abstract
In this article we elaborate on Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) or Personal Data Stores (PDS) that provide a person with affordances for managing his/her personal data, giving him/her granular control over the data captured about him/her, and over how that data is shared and used. We examine the promise of PDS-enabled data cooperatives from a socio-technical approach by critically unpacking the current discourse on data activism and related concepts such as data cooperatives, data collaboratives or data bazaars in the context of PDSs. We highlight critical reflections on user empowerment, power symmetries and user appropriation. While we see promise in a collective approach to the management of (personal) data, as it may reorient markets and change who benefits from datafication, we point out that further research into the potential obstacles or hurdles that hinder the implementation of data cooperatives in a PDS-ecology and into what consumers think about these and other possible data management models, is needed.
Keywords
personal data stores, appropriation, empowerment, power assymmetries

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MLA
Mechant, Peter, et al. “Saving the Web by Decentralizing Data Networks? A Socio-Technical Reflection on the Promise of Decentralization and Personal Data Stores.” 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI), IEEE, 2021, doi:10.1109/cmi53512.2021.9663788.
APA
Mechant, P., De Wolf, R., Van Compernolle, M., Joris, G., Evens, T., & De Marez, L. (2021). Saving the web by decentralizing data networks? A socio-technical reflection on the promise of decentralization and personal data stores. 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI). Presented at the 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms, Copenhagen, Denmark. https://doi.org/10.1109/cmi53512.2021.9663788
Chicago author-date
Mechant, Peter, Ralf De Wolf, Mathias Van Compernolle, Glen Joris, Tom Evens, and Lieven De Marez. 2021. “Saving the Web by Decentralizing Data Networks? A Socio-Technical Reflection on the Promise of Decentralization and Personal Data Stores.” In 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/cmi53512.2021.9663788.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mechant, Peter, Ralf De Wolf, Mathias Van Compernolle, Glen Joris, Tom Evens, and Lieven De Marez. 2021. “Saving the Web by Decentralizing Data Networks? A Socio-Technical Reflection on the Promise of Decentralization and Personal Data Stores.” In 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI). IEEE. doi:10.1109/cmi53512.2021.9663788.
Vancouver
1.
Mechant P, De Wolf R, Van Compernolle M, Joris G, Evens T, De Marez L. Saving the web by decentralizing data networks? A socio-technical reflection on the promise of decentralization and personal data stores. In: 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI). IEEE; 2021.
IEEE
[1]
P. Mechant, R. De Wolf, M. Van Compernolle, G. Joris, T. Evens, and L. De Marez, “Saving the web by decentralizing data networks? A socio-technical reflection on the promise of decentralization and personal data stores,” in 2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2021.
@inproceedings{8733276,
  abstract     = {{In this article we elaborate on Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) or Personal Data Stores (PDS) that provide a person with affordances for managing his/her personal data, giving him/her granular control over the data captured about him/her, and over how that data is shared and used. We examine the promise of PDS-enabled data cooperatives from a socio-technical approach by critically unpacking the current discourse on data activism and
related concepts such as data cooperatives, data collaboratives or data bazaars in the context of PDSs. We highlight critical reflections on user empowerment, power symmetries and user appropriation. While we see promise in a collective approach to the management of (personal) data, as it may reorient markets and change who benefits from datafication, we point out that further research into the potential obstacles or hurdles that hinder the implementation of data cooperatives in a PDS-ecology and into what consumers think about these and other possible data management models, is needed.}},
  author       = {{Mechant, Peter and De Wolf, Ralf and Van Compernolle, Mathias and Joris, Glen and Evens, Tom and De Marez, Lieven}},
  booktitle    = {{2021 14th CMI International Conference - Critical ICT Infrastructures and Platforms (CMI)}},
  isbn         = {{9781665416450}},
  keywords     = {{personal data stores,appropriation,empowerment,power assymmetries}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Copenhagen, Denmark}},
  pages        = {{6}},
  publisher    = {{IEEE}},
  title        = {{Saving the web by decentralizing data networks? A socio-technical reflection on the promise of decentralization and personal data stores}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/cmi53512.2021.9663788}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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