Full agenda

Forum description:

The pandemic has demonstrated that there is strong public benefit derived from researchers having prompt access to a variety of data sources, such as data from public and government bodies, as well as private companies (in particular, tech companies). There is also significant interest in how we connect and link the different data sources. The Forum will address the evolution of researcher access to data; best practices and lessons learned from fields that are at the forefront of data sharing (i.e., climate studies, astrophysics, biomedicine); and challenges related to pressing societal problems such as online information (and misinformation), modelling for pandemics, and using data in emergencies.

National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20418

Session 4: Privately Held Data: Opportunities, Challenges, and Lessons for Researchers

Session Chair: Gina Neff, Professor and Executive Director, Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy, University of Cambridge

This session will explore data collected by private companies, which often contain useful insights that
can help alleviate major societal challenges including climate change, healthcare, food security, and
disinformation. Accessing this data, however, can be costly, controversial, and unreliable. Solving
these challenges could help unlock vast amounts of data for researchers, providing novel insights and
better guidance for policymakers. With lessons from social media platforms, mobile health
applications, and retailers, this session will highlight best practice for accessing data held by private
companies and consider solutions to the challenges of commercial sensitivity, data protection, and
emergency preparedness. Attendees can expect to leave with an understanding of the value to be
gained from privately held data, topical data security challenges, and an overview of partnership-enhancing technologies.

Slides [PDF version] and embedded below