Towards Property-Owning Democracy by Private Property of Personal Data

The talk presents philosophical justifications of property rights of personal data. It will be argued that property of personal data provides control over a moral realm of personhood and at that same time sustained ownership of a resource that can produce a basic income for people who hitherto have little or no access to income from productive assets. Personal property of personal data can bring substantive progress on the path towards the realisation of a property owning democracy (POD), which is a social system that offers widespread access to productive assets.

Francis Cheneval studied philosophy & political science at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Georgetown University (USA). He holds a Dphil from the University of Fribourg and a Certificate in Corporate Finance from the University of Zurich. From 2006-2008 he was the Rapporteur for property rights of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (UNDP, New York). Since 2011, Francis Cheneval holds the chair of political philosophy at the University of Zurich. He is the author of five books, including The Government of the Peoples. On the Idea and Principles of Multilateral Democracy (2011), and his work has appeared in journals such as Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Social Philosophy, Journal of Common Market Studies, Swiss Political Science Review, and Analyse & Kritik.