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15 February 2021

Citizen control could increase benefits of data – new Marketplace Initiative established

A man is using his tablet to play around with graphs

Increased citizen control of personal data in a ‘European Way’ could increase, rather than limit, the amount of data available for the greater good of society and the economy. This requires increased effort and a new Initiative form the Smart Cities Marketplace is working to do just that.

The launch of the new Initiative ‘Citizen Control of Personal Data’, a part of the Action Cluster  took place on January 27 with input from the European Commission, Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, Manchester Urban Institute, Big Data Value Association (BDVA), Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, City of Prato, UrbanDNA and several partners from the DataVaults Project.

Dr Shaun Topham from the DataVaults Project, is taking the lead on the new initiative, and explains:

“We want to increase the overall size of the data lake by actively involving citizens and by addressing what their data is used for, by whom and when. Large quantities of data are already available from citizens, but it’s too often collected by a few corporations with a narrow commercial benefit without a true understanding from consumers. We know that can change and it would benefit both citizens, communities and cities,” he says.

With the first meeting focusing on current state-of-the-art of citizen control of data and with inspirational presentations provided by a number of relevant projects, the coming weeks are about confirming the participation of partners in the new Smart Cities Marketplace Initiative.

On February 25, the Initiative hosts its first workshop since its launch. During the workshop, participants will discuss a roadmap which will identify key paths to succeed with the overall ambition of the Initiative. Using successful work already done by partners in the Marketplace, including a report from Erasmus University on Urban Data Platforms in cities.

Participants in the workshop on February 25 will be asked to share their priorities, needs and capacities for contributions should they wish. This will enable workshop organisers to determine the level of interest in benefitting from the Initiative in the future.

You can register for the workshop on February 25 by emailing Shaun Topham ( ).

Action cluster