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Angela Merkel wants science ideas for the pricing of data – in response to the business models of Google and Facebook. A suggested solution

Angela Merkel: How to attach data to a value

Angela Merkel wants science ideas for the pricing of data – in response to the business models of Google and Facebook. A suggested solution

Angela Merkel: How to attach data to a value
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  • Page 1 — How to attach data to a value
  • Page 2 — freedom to decide for yourself
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    Dennis J. Snower is an American economist. He is president of Institute for World Economy (IfW) in Kiel and president of Global Solutions Initiative.

    "The pricing of data, especially that of consumers, is, in my view, central problem of justice in future," said Angela Merkel at Global Solutions Summit in Berlin. It was unfair that people provided free data and ors made money. That is why Chancellor wants to assign data to a reasonable value – and has asked scientific community to propose solutions.

    In order to understand deeper meaning of Merkel's desire, we imagine a new form of a medieval debt worker who gives his manpower and receives something to eat and a roof over his head. He is allowed to turn his back on his employer whenever he wants. But if he does, he must leave behind everything that makes his identity – his possessions, his reputation, his acquaintances. If we had choice between today's working world and this form of debt bondage, no one would decide for latter.

    And yet that is exactly world in which we move in digital sphere. To meet our basic digital needs, we need to join social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or WhatsApp. We use Google to find information, and Amazon to buy those products that we just need. We offer a free service everywhere – in exchange for our data. There is no guarantee that value of our data will be approximate to value of service. But we have no choice: in absence of alternatives, we must accept this form of digital debt bondage. We run risk of being exploited – for example, for manipulative advertising. We can leave digital networks at any time, but n we have to leave everything we have accumulated re: our contacts and all information about us that we have entered re once.

    Dennis Snower

    Is president of Kiel Institute for World Economy and President of Global Solutions Initiative.

    The Chancellor has recognized this problem – and proposed that data should be given a price. Consumers could n use m to pay for digital services. This is equivalent to a revolution in digital world with a view to debate about ownership rights. This is technically possible: best known means is self sovereign identity System (SSIS). It is quasi digital equivalent to purse.

    In SSIS world, each person is his or her own identity provider: it holds its identity data itself and, using a private digital key, has full control over who it grants access to. This is a very powerful mechanism for access to numerous web shops and social networks, where each of us today has scattered numerous fragments of its identity.

    In order to be able to participate in serious business processes, however, re still needs to be a complementary instrument that guarantees correctness of data. For example, it may not be enough – as is often case today – for an age check in an online shop that user enters his/her birth date himself. You need confirmation of an instance to which shop owner can rely.

    For such verification of data UndTransaktionen Blockchain technology is suitable, which has become known primarily as basic technology for digital currency bitcoin. The Blockchain works simply like a decentralized, encrypted protocol in which data and transactions are Festgehalten and verified transparently. It is accessible via a public key corresponding to private clef, but cannot be changed.

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