Personal data sovereignty : a sustainable interface layer for a human centered data ecosystem

Lockwood, M 2020, Personal data sovereignty : a sustainable interface layer for a human centered data ecosystem , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The reality of ubiquitous computing and exponential personal data generation challenges the notion of privacy, as Surveillance Capitalism and Nation State endeavour to record and analyse personal data with the objective of leveraging influence and control. It is argued that this centralised model threatens to stifle the digital economy, destabilise our democracy, and fundamentally change our social norms. Real-time, non-statistical datasets offer huge potential for governance, commerce, and social cohesion. But the positive benefit of the emerging data driven society is threatened by the tensions formed through asymmetric power imbalances that manifest across a narrow band of walled gardened web services. In recent years work has been undertaken to counter the centralised model, despite these efforts there has been limited change in trajectory or sustained adoption of decentralised technologies. This research is designed to explore and evaluate the Decentralised Internet. Investigating the challenge of designing usable, sustainable tools for the everyday participant. This research engages mixed methods to explore the trajectory of technologies and public attitudes. Domain experts are consulted to explore application and value proposition. Practice extends the decentralised trajectory to consider participant journeys, interaction, and the interface layer. This research concludes that the core technological infrastructure now exists to facilitate a genuine Decentralised Internet and that an identity layer facilitated through Blockchain technology is progressing the domain towards Self Sovereign Identity (SSI). This research extends this trajectory through Conceptual Modelling to define a Sovereign Boundary Mechanism (SBM), an independent realm of interaction which enables the principles of decentralisation. Analysis suggests that this interaction is high in friction, requiring considerable internalised cognition and prior knowledge in order to engage. This research concludes that the concept of network privacy is poorly defined and miss-understood, and that participants struggle to see its value across context and cultures. Investigation indicates that the Decentralised Internet cannot be marketed, and instead has to supersede the centralised model through defined innovations. This research argues that a cohesive strategy is required to achieve adoption, one which collectively identifies and develops offerings of value through design thinking while defining a consistent narrative to deliver targeted solutions within cultural contexts. This research makes a theoretical contribution to knowledge by connecting the domains of Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) and Human Data Interaction (HDI). The research establishes the fundamental spheres of interaction for an analogue SSI system through what is defined as a Sovereign Boundary Mechanism (SBM). The research identifies issues and paradox’s relating to an SBM and identifies further required investigation and research. This research makes a practical contribution to knowledge by presenting a framework and resource for further innovation and development, the wider problem space for a Human-Centred Data Ecosystem is defined, and finally the research contributes to a wider adoption strategy through the identification of value proposition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Linge, N (Supervisor) and Darlington, W (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Depositing User: MG Lockwood
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 10:40
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:46

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