Is that even legal? A guide for builders experimenting with data governance

Feb. 15, 2023
Data governance & stewardship
Data Governance Guide Hero Image


All too often, data is extracted and processed far removed from its source, serving the interests of the organizations that collect it rather than the people it impacts. This is why it’s important to explore new ways to govern data: to shift control back to individuals and communities, to strengthen their agency, and to share value. Mozilla is working to change this paradigm.

Changing this requires system-level change, but opportunities to implement new ideas for better data governance also exist within existing paradigms and legal frameworks. Builders can shape new norms by leveraging opportunities present in existing rules. But to do so, they need a firm understanding of current realities. This research and the guides we have created for four countries — Germany, India, Kenya, and the United States — aim to help them navigate existing legal landscapes so they can help pave the way for better data governance in the future.


Researchers: Setu Bandh Upadhyay, Aayush Rathi, Christian L. Geminn, Paul C. Johannes, Johannes K. M. Müller, Maxi Nebel, Beatriz Botero, Teodora Groza, Peter McCarthy, and Lawyers Hub. Mozilla staff: Kenya Rankin, Eeva Moore, Neha Ravella, Stefan Baack, Solana Larsen, Kasia Odrozek, Lisa Gutermuth, Kristina Shu, Nancy Tran, J. Bob Alotta. Illustrations: Ran Zheng.