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Data Privacy, Transparency and the UK’s Digital Economy

Privacy is the copyright scam of the 21st century. 

Appropriating the data stream generated by an individual or population and then limiting access to it, to create value for corporate owners and disposers of information.

It does not limit access save for those institutions and individuals who cannot afford to pay. It does not provide for the individual producer of data, the ‘private person’ with access to data, even if it’s their own. In fact, it reduces the likelihood of their ever having such access, even if they are prepared to pay for it.

By hiding the data created by and about the individual behind a paywall, itself a product of ‘privacy laws’ the individual becomes a point of production for data and always a paying customer for that same information.  Value is added, or to use the term loosely, created when the data is transformed by making connections between sources to predict, understand and control behaviours such as consuming and selling.

In the UK Public Data concerning; Property: Domestic and Non-Domestic rates and the land Registry. Business activity: VAT Records, Business employment data. Health data and even the results of the Justice System, (Cost of acquiring CCJ’s) are all being ‘hidden’ in aggregate.

Only large commercial organisations willing to pay can see the Rates Records, Property ownership etc. as Data in the round. Then by bringing them together create value. A value that serves from building a paywall around the what is created by and for the public benefit in the first place. To this day, ordinary citizens of the UK have no free access to any of the research they fund so generously and with such success.

We could, of course, make data available universally and for free. This would encourage innovation, enhance public benefit and provide for a broader and more productive economy. But creating a pseudo market that functions poorly and always at the expense of the public would appear to be the preferred model.

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