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A data sharing space we can trust

EU-backed researchers are developing a trustworthy and secure platform where Europeans can safely share personal and industrial data.

Digital Economy

If people are to feel safe in sharing personal and proprietary data on online platforms, they need to trust them. The EU-funded TRUSTS project is striving to reinstate previous levels of trust in the data market by developing a platform based on secure and reliable data exchanges between data providers and consumers. The TRUSTS platform’s first mock-ups have already been created and a demonstrator for a data market federator is in the works. There have been different efforts geared towards a data market-like handling of secure and sovereign data exchange over the last few years, some occurring within national or domain boundaries and others involving cross-domain and cross-border data spaces. The TRUSTS data ecosystem is focused on delivering technological added value across Europe.

What do users need?

An important feature is the platform’s powerful dashboard – what appears on it is determined by the user’s role on the platform. “For asset contributors, the dashboard provides useful summative information about their contributed assets, such as total revenues, best sellers and top rated assets, asset types contributed per category (data assets, applications, services), sales by billing scheme, and tags that the user employs in their contributions,” according to a press release posted on the TRUSTS website. “For content consumers, the home page dashboard aims to suggest content according to the user’s interests (as these have been indicated so far in the platform), promote best–selling and top rated content, but also new and trending content, thus endorsing not only content that is already popular but also new and noteworthy content, giving it good chances to become popular itself.” Dr Stavroula Ntoa of TRUSTS project partner Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas observes in the same press release: “It is expected that users will be empowered to find what they are looking for, which is a key motivator for becoming loyal users of the platform. At the same time, the platform urges users who can’t find what they are looking for to describe it through a well–structured form, and notifies them when such content becomes available.” But how can a data market earn people’s trust? According to Dr Ntoa, the situation is much like human relationships, where “trust is difficult to be earned and is directly relevant to feel secure, safe, and protected, but most importantly, trust is built upon consistent behavior evidencing one’s trustworthiness.” For a data market to be trusted, privacy and security are key. A trusted data market should ensure that data remains anonymous. It should also analyse the risk of encrypted data being reidentified and should ensure a secure data exchange “in which data sovereignty is the key factor for success,” according to the press release. It goes on to state: “The fact that data can be exchanged without the data owners losing control over their data will be groundbreaking for future challenges with shared Data.” The 3-year TRUSTS (Trusted Secure Data Sharing Space) project has brought together 17 partners from 9 European countries with the aim of creating a secure and trustworthy pan-European market for personal and industrial data. The project ends in December 2022. For more information, please see: TRUSTS project website


TRUSTS, data, content, data market, platform, data sharing space, industrial data, data exchange

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