Why are we doing this?
DECODE is a response to the loss of control people have over their personal data on the internet. As the internet and the number of connected devices has grown, so too has the amount of personal data people accumulate on a daily basis.
Many internet services are free to use, but require people to share their data as a condition of use. This data is increasingly accumulated by a small number of big companies, who use and monetise this data, often without the awareness of the people who created it. This is a problem. People have lost control of their data. This does not just mean the erosion of privacy, it’s also bad for the security of people’s online identities.
The huge quantities of data produced on the web every day offers the potential for insights that could benefit all of society. With the data controlled by a handful of monopolies, society cannot benefit from these insights. The monopolisation of data creates economic inefficiencies, and threatens to undermine trust between individuals and companies, which is essential for a stable and functioning economy.
What are we doing?
DECODE will develop and test new tools to give people control of their personal data. The pilots will take place in Barcelona and Amsterdam. To support this work, Nesta will be undertaking research into the future of the personal data economy and how the project can have a real impact for people.
DECODE's pilots will engage with and build an active, diverse community of people who are interested in using tools that give them control of their data.
The pilots will focus on three thematic areas:
- the sharing economy
- the Internet of Things
- open and participatory democracy.
Nesta will be supporting the pilots and evaluating their progress as the project goes on.
The DECODE project is a consortium of 14 partners from across Europe:
- BCMI Labs AB
- City of Amsterdam
- Institut Municipal d'Informatica de Barcelona (IMI)
- Politecnico di Torino/Nexa
- Stichting Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen Privacy & Identity Lab
- Open University of Catalonia, Internet Interdisciplinay Institute (IN3)
- Waag Society
DECODE is funded by the European Commission. It is a three-year project, running between January 2017 and December 2019. It is part of Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), it is a flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.
Nesta has previously worked on D-CENT, a project focused on the decentralisation of political power and decision making. DECODE is an extension of the principles and philosophy that underpinned this work.