Back to the Future of Data Sharing
Scientists have always shared data, just not freely, and not with *anyone* who wants the data. For the most part, scientists have shared data with their collaborators, and on occasion, with those who might especially ask them for it. But as science has become more data-intensive, and as the technologies, mainly the network speeds and computing power, to collect, manage, analyze and visualize data, have become more powerful and ubiquitous, the sharing has not kept pace. The relatively recent awareness of intellectual property rights in data have at times brought about a contrarian change — scientists applying unsuitable licenses to their content creating an unintended but significant legal hurdle. All this confusion makes it seem that the goal of seamless data sharing between those who create it and those who want it may be moving further away from our grasp. So what is one to do? more
The Future of Science is Open
While open sharing of scientific tools, data and findings is morally and strategically good for science, it is also strategically good for countries where resources are constrained. Being able to reuse tools and data makes economic sense, and building upon existing work accelerates the development of a world-class scientific community and of scientific knowledge itself. more
Who Owns My Data?
Ownership, legally defined as a bundle of rights in the thing that is owned, arises from some provision in either common law or in statute that gives us rights in that thing in the first place. We own land because we bought it or we inherited it from someone who bought it or either we or our ancestors laid claim to it in the absence of anyone else contesting our claim. Similarly, we own other property because we bought it we were gifted it or we inherited it. If there are competing claims to our property, our own claim is weakened until we can prove otherwise. We own statutory rights in intellectual property based on our authorship of that work with sufficient creativity. However, none of these characteristics define health data. We produce health data through the act of existing, but we don’t have any creativity in it. The only thing we have is a right to privacy that gives us the prerogative to deny the use of our data by others. The question then becomes – should we own our health data or not? and what would be implications of doing so one way or another? more