We have a fascinating discussion regarding “Who Owns the Smart City’s Data” recently. Below are some of the most important points of discussion from various members (thanks for the contributions):
- Make it free but monetise the insights. Even if it is free and you cannot monetize ownership of data, one can still monetise meaning derived out of it. [Vinay]
- You can co-owned the data. The moment data is treated as a commodity; ownership belongs to the provider. For a business, that’s a simple conclusion; the value of the data packaged, tailored and priced for a specific business use or solution. However, when you’re headed towards public service providers such as the government; the business model may have to go the way of BOT or something similar where the operator seeks a form of concession if the typical buy and sell scenario doesn’t apply. Data ownership, in this case, could be co-owned with the provider monetizing via the concession given.[Ian Chew]
- No monopoly of data ownership. Regarding data ownership, no one company should be allowed to hoard it. One neutral party can be government/cities OR a contract negotiated with a private company to keep the data open such that true innovation can be promoted. [Rahul Sachdev]
- Monetise in many layers or value-chain. We would have to categorize ownership depending on the type of data. For example, if the data is related to public use of bus timings or distance to next stop of traffic conditions then obviously it should be available to the entire audience as a whole else the whole purpose is lost.
- Conversely, the data that is generated as a part of monitor and control operation for the smooth functioning of the smart city belongs to the particular entity whose data it is. For example, in the case of AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure) the meter readings, data will belong to the Utility as a whole with individual getting access to data from their own meters.
- Monetizing this data can be done in various ways. One being the enabler as in the primary service provider who enables collection as well as collation of said data. This means providing a reliable, scalable solution for data gathering and transportation to the central repository.
- Another would be the BI layer providers which will enable slicing and dicing of said data to change it to actionable information for the concerned people. [Niranjan Dixit]
- IoT data must be aggregated to make more meaning. The most interesting insights that come from data is when you are able to slice, dice and stitch multiple data sets together. Also, IoT hardware deployments and maintenance are still extremely expensive.
- For these reasons we advocate Open Data when possible so that collectively we can all create higher order systems but also the issues of lock-in and ownership are addressed. [Yodit Stanton]
- The consumer pays but governed by market forces. Ultimately it’s the consumers who will pay, however, you package it. Even if the local government spent money on creating this infrastructure, it is going to recover it from raising taxes. If private companies put up infrastructure, they will deliver service for which the consumers or the buying organization including the government will have to pay, which eventually will still recover through taxes.
- Thus data actually has no value, but the value comes from the information that can be created by this data. Leave this to the Invisible Hand of the market to solve the problem of data ownership, as the data generator will find a way to the data consumer via commercial means governed by the market forces. [Ranjjite Wanddricer]
- It’s the apps that make money. It will all depend on what is achieved through the Data. New apps will be developed that leverage the data and make money for the developers. New infrastructural changes will come about as a result of improved efficiencies, and businesses will open there, too. Where the initial infrastructural investment comes from to aggregate, this DATA won’t matter once it’s being sold (FB, etc). So if the DATA is generating revenue then it’s susceptible to the Invisible Hand and will sort itself out. [Grant Parker]
- It’s a question of when and how much. Smart city development would certainly be in the government’s pipeline by now, just a question of how funding will be allocated and for what intended purpose. [Ian Chew]
Do you have any further thoughts regarding this?
About the Author
Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader and CEO of REDtone IOT. You can reach him on LinkedIn at https://my.linkedin.com/in/mazlan/ or Twitter at http://twitter.com/mazlan_abbas . Check all presentation slides HERE.
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