Beyond the Data Flow Paradigm

Governing Data Requires to Look Beyond Data


  • Charlotte Ducuing CiTiP KU Leuven



data governance, data ownership, data sharing, data flow paradigm, commodification of data, data trust, sata pool, data commons


The paper aims to contribute to the discussion on how to regulate and govern data as an economic asset. It critically discusses the ‘data flow paradigm’, defined here as the regulatory focus on data (transactions) with the purpose to enhance data exchange by establishing data markets. Based on the examples of the electricity and the automotive sectors with respect to data governance, the paper finds that the data flow paradigm alone is too narrow. This paradigm seems to bear the idea that there should be well-operating data markets, possibly by the operation of the law, and that such markets alone would deliver the grand policy expectations, such as ‘AI’ or ‘data-driven innovations’. Yet, fostering data exchange is not an end in itself and should be regarded with respect to the sectoral objectives and constraints. As the study of the examples shows, the quest for appropriate mechanisms to govern data often leads to rediscovering old concepts, such as (data) commons or (data) platform. Finally, the paper discusses future possible regulatory intervention.


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How to Cite

Ducuing, C. (2020). Beyond the Data Flow Paradigm: Governing Data Requires to Look Beyond Data. Technology and Regulation, 2020, 57–64.



Special Issue: Governing Data as a Resource
Received 2021-09-03
Published 2020-07-16