Data Markets in the Cloud

Over the last year, while I haven’t been blogging, one of the new directions that we’ve started to look at in RSRG is “data markets”.

“Data Markets” is one of those phrases that means lots of different things to lots of different people.  At its simplest, the idea is that data is a commodity these days — data is bought and sold constantly. The challenge is that we don’t actually understand too much about data as an economic good.  In fact, it’s a very strange economic good and traditional economic theory doesn’t apply…

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Data, Privacy, and Markets

We’ve posted in the past about some of the work going on in our group related to privacy, and of course there are always lots of news articles popping up.  But, today I came across a recent animation by Jorge Cham of PhD comics fame that does a very nice job of summarizing one of the interesting directions these days — managing the interaction of personal data with data marketplaces.

Though I haven’t posted about it here yet, this is one of the new directions RSRG is moving in — how does one design a data marketplace that allows the transition from data as a commodity to data as a service?  We have already seen computing go from commodity to service with the emergence of cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure, and I think it won’t be long until data makes the same transition.  But, in setting up these data marketplaces, how does one manage issues such as privacy?  and how does one place a value on pieces of data, which have many different uses?

In any case, enjoy the animation!