Development is data. Without data, you will be squeezed out of the future. Data is the gold of the New Wired World. There is no in-between — either you are sovereign or a colony. Under the rule of law, power is the sovereign will of the citizen finding expression in non-arbitrary laws. Reaping the benefits of data-driven innovation hinges on balancing privacy and privilege. Privacy is not a privilege. It is an inalienable right. The old model of surveillance capitalism, built on the secret extraction and manipulation of human data, is under careful citizen scrutiny with increasing awareness. Trust trumps transactions.

Once the data economy was structured around a “digital curtain” that obscured the practices of industries from the public and lawmakers. That curtain has dissolved. The convergence of consumer, state and market forces now offers users more control over Open Data. Data can no longer be freely harvested. Countries in every region of the world have started to treat personal data as an asset —owned by individuals and held in trust by firms.

This is now the central organizing principle for the data economy. Digital citizens will now have greater autonomy over the potential to curtail the worst excesses of the data economy while generating a new wave of customer-driven innovation, as the digital citizen and bureaucracies begin to express what sort of personalization and opportunity they wish their data to enable. Firms that now hoard substantial troves of client data will have to make sweeping changes to their business paradigms, especially financial institutions, healthcare businesses, public utilities, manufacturers, and retailers.

The new prototypes elevate insight over identity. DSpark sanitizes, anonymizes, and aggregates billions of mobility data points. It then converts the data into insights on everything from demographics to bargain hunting, which it sells to merchants — all while never selling or moving the data itself. The new role for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Data Officers (CDOs) is to facilitate the flow of insights. A shift from silos to flows. The conjoint objective is to convert insight into citizen benefits. While the CIO is responsible for the overall IT strategy and implementation of an organization’s technology infrastructure, CDOs now provide data-driven insights. CDOs now use Big Data to help make the most of enterprise data, analytics, AI, and IoT technologies to both predict and respond to threats and opportunities.

The sovereign state must now guarantee that its data laws are robust enough for other nations to entrust the free flow of data across international borders and silos. Personal data is the waterfall for countless small businesses and startups, which convert data into consumer insights, market intelligence, and personalized digital services. While South Korea, the UK, China, France, and the U.S. emerge as five AI superpowers, it is misleading to limit viable data sources to concentrations in a few places as we did previously with oil-driven economies.

Many diverse sources and future AI applications will emerge from unexpected places. As we map the digital competitiveness of different countries around the world, it is prudent to locate the deepest and widest pools of useful data and to make a distinction between the raw volume of data, and a nation’s “Gross Data Product” (GDP). This is the new GDP. This future, that is already here, unveils a spectre of boutique education opportunities in FinTech, Digital Assets, Data Protection., Electronic Transactions, and Health Information Systems, as well as new university degrees in Law, Innovation and Technology. At the primary and secondary school levels, scholars studying subjects like Digital Law will begin to unravel the interstices between Consumer Protection Law, and Financial Consumer Protection, as they become digitally savvy.

EU regulators are now drafting the world’s first laws for the burgeoning industry around web-enabled vehicles, pitting EV manufacturers against a coalition of insurers, leasing companies, and repair shops. The European Commission’s Data Act may now include new rules on how companies can access “non-personal data”, or data that does not contain any information that identifies an individual. These rules will impact a wide variety of sources, including information collected from machinery in Industry 4.0 settings, EVs, and even smart home appliances like the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator.  Samsung’s Whisk smart food platform along with the ViewInside camera in the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator use A.I.-powered image recognition, to enable the refrigerator to recognize items in the fridge and track expiration dates, and recommend a curated list of recipes that incorporates ingredients in the pantry.

Under the New EU Rules, the owner of an EV could request that all data generated on the performance of the connected car be sent to a repair shop of their choice. Cloud service companies such as Amazon and Microsoft will also be forced to make it simpler for digital citizens to switch providers. The idea is to give consumers and companies, even more, control over what can be done with their data according to Margrethe Vestager, the Commission’s Competition Chief. The European Commission intends to launch an industry consultation on in-vehicle data to inform the drafting of legislation by the end of 2022. The legislative bundle will be the first of its kind globally.