Towards a Digital Ecosystem of Trust: Ethical, Legal and Societal Implications

Authors: Jeroen van den Hoven, Giovanni Comandé, Salvatore Ruggieri, Josep Domingo-Ferrer, Francesca Musiani, Fosca Giannotti and Francesca Pratesi, Marc Stauch and Iryna Lishchuk



The European vision of a digital ecosystem of trust rests on innovation, powerful technological solutions, a comprehensive regulatory framework and respect for the core values and principles of ethics. Innovation in the digital domain strongly relies on data, as has become obvious during the current pandemic. Successful data science, especially where health data are concerned, necessitates establishing a framework where data subjects can feel safe to share their data. In this paper, methods for facilitating data sharing, privacy-preserving technologies, decentralization, data altruism, as well as the interplay between the Data Governance Act and the GDPR, are presented and discussed by reference to use cases from the largest pan-European social science data research project, SoBigData++. In doing so, we argue that innovation can be turned into responsible innovation and Europe can make its ethics work in digital practice.

Keywords: Digital ecosystem of trust – responsible data science – data altruism – decentralization.