Currently, it is estimated that 2,5 quintillion of data is being generated daily. In the last years, people have learned, that taking control of this resource will grant many benefits. Companies have gradually learned to manage this astonishing amount of information more effectively. Although undeniably it is a great technological success, people argued about the ethics of possessing this much power as an independent party. Information about individual people was being manipulated to the point, that data collecting and its distribution had to be regulated by law. Data trusts are meant to solve the problem of uncertainty about how the information is being used. Thanks to them, individuals of the community may gain more charge than simply accept or deny terms of some services.
How does it work
Data trusts is a structure where the task of managing information is appointed to a certain party of fiduciaries. Their highest priority in fulfilling this task is keeping their clients beneficial at all times. Thus it is forbidden for the trustee to have any profit derived from the data he stores. Whether the party doesn’t meet the expectations of a customer, the agreement may be canceled at all times.
What does it cause
Even if placed in a situation where one can control preferences of what data can be collected, it is simply too much of a burden. Accessing those settings is often complicated and one must personalize those every time when arriving at the new website. Data trusts ease that inconvenience by doing it for people, having in mind their best interest.
Having control over data centralized would seem like a smart idea. One would feel more at ease, in the situation, where information about him is not wildly distributed but carefully managed. However, giving access to all of the collected information to the independent unit or a party may be very dangerous. Ultimately these groups would be in charge of even more data than current services like Facebook or Google. Technically they are to be trusted, although there is the possibility of it being exploited in a harmful way.
Data trusts are definitely a solution to the case of confidentiality of information. However, in my opinion, the more popular it would get, the more oppressed these institutions would be for the same reason as e.g Facebook is oppressed currently. Same as with politics when control is cumulated in either one hand or a group of representatives it may be used to people disadvantage.