Data Privacy in the Context of AgTech, FinTech and Retail

Mark Justin
11 min readMar 4, 2020

So….What’s data?

What do we really mean when we say we need to protect data? What is data? How do you characterize it?

And is data capable of being owned?

Consumers and businesses need to consider what rights do they have to their data. Are they legal rights? Are they contractual rights? Do we have a legitimate claim? Do we have a contractual claim? And again, does anyone really own the data?

Also, if data in the possession of a business and is subject to some ransomware attacks, and it’s lost, would the business be considered the owner of the data? Would they be liable for the loss? and How?

Data Right in the Context of Copyright

Copyright is one form of Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

There are four forms of IP rights:

  1. Patent rights or invention rights,
  2. Trade secret rights,
  3. Trademark rights, and
  4. Copyrights

Data right doesn’t fit neatly into any of these rights

If we look at Patent and Copyright, Patent works on data or use it to create more data. Copyright is the format of the data (the creative formatting of the data), but data in it in itself is not creative. The factual piece of information that creates the data is not creative.

So the legal framework that exists in the United States (and many other countries) doesn’t treat data as a form of intellectual property.

So what’s the deal right now in Washington and Brussels (and other places) where we see Mark Zuckerberg and others being called on the carpet by Congress to answer on what’s happening with consumer data? Is that just grandstanding? Are these guys missing a key legal point that Facebook and others don’t own the data?….

I think a better way to frame what’s happening in U.S.Congress (and other Legislature Chambers around the world) with Google, Facebook, etc, in terms of the discussions that are occurring, are…



Mark Justin

Interest in FinTech, Deep Tech, Social Psychology, Neuroscience & Neuropsychology, Health and Longivity, and Global Polictics.