The IUDX Research program complements the IUDX development and deployment efforts. The IUDX program explores, together with academic partners, the technical, legal, organizational and economic barriers to the use and re-use of non-personal data. While the initial focus is on urban data as collected within the IUDX platform, the focus is broader and encompasses agricultural, industrial, health and educational sectors.
IUDX Research Program is funded by Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunities for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1.3 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Digital Identity, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. You can learn more here: https://www.omidyar.com/.
Specifically, IUDX Research will enable us to create domain-specific Data Spaces as described in the adjacent panel. IUDX will help us address both technical and non- technical barriers, by assembling the necessary concepts, tools and infrastructures, addressing issues of security and trust, and by clarifying governance and legal issues. Under the IUDX Research program, we have initiated two significant research efforts
The concept of a Data Space is broader than the IUDX technology platform. It is an aggregation of technology, data, concepts, ideas, rules, and best practices grouped around a particular domain and captures all the necessary aspects to enable the use of data. The IUDX Research efforts, with their broad technical and non-technical scope, will allow us to build better Data Spaces, both for urban governance and for other sectors.
Large scale proliferation of data in the previous decade has created numerous opportunities for the market exchange of such data. This data generation has been possible largely due to innovations in digital technology such as the rapid expansion of internet, introduction of smart devices and cloud-based applications. Both public sector and private entities across the world can utilise this data not only for economic, but social welfare as well. This is where the project IUDX comes in. On one hand, it facilitates the creation of a platform where data holders and data users can engage in the exchange of data; and on the other hand, it creates significant disruptions in the existing economic as well as legal structures around data.
Data plays a significant role in tackling large scale urban governance problems like energy usage, public security, transport optimization, and congestion management. Recently, the most prominent use of data has been in the COVID-19 pandemic, where a plethora of public and private data sources have been brought together, often in ad hoc ways, to address critical public health decisions. Decision makers in city planning, agriculture, mobility system optimization, have also increased their use of data toimprove quality in decisions. The use of data mining and AI in data analysis has significantly enhanced the range of inferences and the breadth of data that can be utilized.
The objective of this research program is to understand those disruptions and analyse the economic, policy, legal, regulatory and standardization issues involved in using data. Our focus will be on Non-Personal Data (NPD) which includes IOT data from smart city sensors, video data from surveillance cameras, legal and property records, data from cellular providers and similar. We aim to include sociological and public policy perspectives, legal studies, mathematical models and analysis, simulation models, algorithmic investigations and other similar approaches. The unique aspect of this effort is that it is done against the backdrop of the IUDX platform, which is being deployed in 50 Indian cities connected to real sources of data. The cities will create important use cases upon the platform and provide valuable insights regarding economic and citizen welfare.
We have begun our investigation with studying the importance of data sharing in the health sector and its effects in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Presently, we are trying to explore the global regulations and policies around NPD to draw important lessons for NPD data governance in India
Some of our other research questions include the following:
Recent developments in India including the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDP) demand for “secure by design” and “privacy by design” based approaches for applications handling cities and citizens data. Some ‘Smart’ solutions in smart city may require processing and analysis of citizen’s data. But more likely, these solutions rely heavily on non-personal data such as IOT streams, video feeds, aggregated statistics, etc. While security and privacy aspects of personal data have been well articulated in the PDP and related efforts, there is little formal exploration of the issues associated with non-personal data.
India has an excellent infrastructure for citizen’s identity (Aadhar) and digital payments (e.g. UPI) which is expected to boost concepts such as “data marketplace”, where parties can buy/sell data. Identity, Authentication, Authorization, Accounting, and Security of payments, Fraud detection and prevention are also very critical for a successful smart city implementation.
The goal of this activity is to study security and privacy aspects in Indian smart cities. Specifically, the proposal will focus predominantly on non-personal data. The exploration will cover the following topics with applications to smart cities. While many of these topics have broad applicability in many different domains, the goal is to narrow down on aspects that have particular relevance and uniqueness in the smart city context: