Towards a Research Agenda for Personal Data Spaces: Synthesis of a Community Driven Process

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Data are increasingly underpinning important actions and processes in both governmental and non-governmental environments. However, the consolidation of data in silo’s limits its ability to be reused while also restricting the control that people have over how their data is used. To mitigate these issues, decentralised storage and personal data store technologies have been put forward as an alternative. Such technologies have gained momentum in Flanders (Flanders is the northern part of Belgium) and became a key policy aspect and a driver for innovation. To support the adoption of these technologies, the Flemish government initiated ‘Solid Community’, a platform for academia, governments, citizens and industry to collaborate on the development of Solid, a technology specification for decentralised data storage. Through ten plenary sessions, the potential challenges that relate to the adoption of Solid were discussed within Solid Community. The reports of these sessions were analysed through qualitative content analysis, leading to the identification of four domains in which these challenges can be situated: social, technical, legal and network (ecosystem) challenges. This paper discusses these challenges and contributes to the development of an interdisciplinary research agenda to help shape the framework conditions for the further diffusion of socially robust, ethically justified and legally supported personal data space initiatives in Flanders.




Van Damme, S., Mechant, P., Vlassenroot, E., Van Compernolle, M., Buyle, R., & Bauwens, D. (2022). Towards a Research Agenda for Personal Data Spaces: Synthesis of a Community Driven Process. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 13391 LNCS, pp. 563–577). Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.

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