Data trusts raise questions on privacy and governance
AI is capable of analysing different kinds of data sets and spotting significant patterns. The results can be used for the wider public good, such as improving planning in healthcare and public transport — or fighting wildlife poachers. Data trusts — which are separate legal entities designed to help organisations extract value from anonymised data without falling foul of privacy regulations — are being mooted as a way to allay concerns about how sensitive data is held by third parties. Chris Reed, Professor of Electronic Commerce at Queen Mary University of London, said data trusts are useful when multiple organisations put in data. “The sharing of data might have been subject to agreements between parties, but when you might have 100 companies putting in data you cannot have agreements covering them all. Having a data trust is a fair and safe way of doing this,” he said. But the question of who controls that data, is likely to become a battleground in public policy.