Project to transform online information sharing
© janeb13

Project to transform online information sharing

The DEcentralised Citizen Owned Data Ecosystem (DECODE) project is to focus on developing practical alternatives for individuals to manage their information on the internet.

DECODE will aim to create and test new blockchain-based tools to give individuals greater control over their data, helping them keep it private or share it for the public as they see fit. Spanning three years from January 2017 to December 2019, the project will run four public pilots – two in Barcelona, Spain, and two in Amsterdam, the Netherlands – to test the new tools and to demonstrate the wider social value that can come as a result of people sharing their data differently.

Eddie Copeland, director of government innovation at Nesta, said: “DECODE is an ambitious project to give citizens back control of their online data. The ongoing litany of data breaches, government surveillance controversies and the monopolisation of personal data by a small number of giant firms is no longer sustainable. We need a new way for people to consciously protect and share their data.

“The potential to do so is huge; not only can individuals feel greater trust in the services and devices they use, they will also be able to share their data to support the growth of new social ventures, improve the functioning of cities and participate more in open, online democratic processes.”

In total, €5m will be paid to the 14 consortium members undertaking the work – including, the Institut Municipal d’Informatica de Barcelona, Eurecat and the University of Catalonia from Spain, Amsterdam City Council, Dyne and the Waag Society in the Netherlands, Politecnico di Torino/Nexa from Italy, CNRS from France, Arduino from Sweden, and innovation foundation Nesta, Thingful, ThoughtWorks and UCL from the UK.