About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

DECODE (DEcentralised Citizen Owned Data Ecosystem), an experimental project to develop practical alternatives to how we use the internet today, will give people a choice about what happens to their digital identity and who uses their data online for which purposes.

Four European pilots, conducted in partnership with Amsterdam and Barcelona City Councils, aim to show the wider social value that comes with individuals being given the power to take control of their personal data and given the means to share their data differently. The project pilots will involve workshops in collaboration with citizens and communities, designing functions that meet specific requirements of the users as well as political and geographical issues related to the host city.

These experiments will explore how to build a data-centric digital economy where data that is generated and gathered by citizens, the Internet of Things (IoT), and sensor networks is available for broader communal use, with appropriate privacy protections.

For example, participating residents in Barcelona are being given sensors to place in neighbourhoods affected by noise pollution. DECODE is partnering with Making Sense to build a community around training and supporting participants to use the noise sensors. It will help citizens to gather and share data about their surroundings, and influence decisions on the city’s digital democracy platform Decidim.Barcelona while preserving user anonymity. In Amsterdam, DECODE will work with local platform co-operatives Gebied Online and FairBnB to provide additional anonymising and privacy-preserving features that allow granular access controls for hiding or sharing data for specific purposes.