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Bonus. Ep. 56: How do you own your data? A Disruptive Conversation with Mitzi László


If you own technology, you produce data, and that data is very valuable. OWN is working to help you take control of that data. Mitzi László and her colleagues are working to help you own your data. This conversation is particularly relevant in a week where Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have been dominating our news cycle. Cambridge Analytica was able to hack and manipulate Facebooks data, and its algorithm, to build digital personas and then send targeted marketing messages to those personas. This capacity is valuable to many people. In addition to the kind of money that is thrown around after these digital personas, we are learning that with enough data, people can manipulate entire populations.

Most of us do not think about the data we produce, but as we walk the world with our phones in our pockets, we are leaving behind a trail of data. This data is an asset. It is valuable and we need to have a conversation about who owns that data and how can they use? In this episode of Disruptive Conversation with Mitzi László, we unpack why owning your data is so important. I argue that data and data rights will be one of the most Disruptive Conversations we will have in the upcoming years. Mitzi and her colleagues are building technology to make owning your data as easy possible. You can check out her white paper at:

You can support her ongoing Indiegogo campaign at this link:

You can also visit her website:


Mitzi László was trained as a neuroscientist in King’s College London before going on to work at a Brazilian epidemiology study funded by the Wellcome Trust. Her task was to design experiments looking into decision making and particularly into health behaviours, such as, eating, moving, smoking, and drinking. It was the first year that the cohort was run when smartphones were widely used by both research participants and public health researchers. This led her to data.

Four years ago, she founded Own – an initiative providing the tools for individuals to own their own data. Personal Data Trading is a framework that gives individuals the ability to own their digital identity and create granular data sharing agreements via the Internet. The ultimate goals are to have a more equitable global resource distribution (value) and a more balanced say in allocation of global resources (voice). At the core is an effort to re-decentralise the Internet.

Mitzi László also works in the ethics department of the European Commission. She has also been an expert advisor for the 80 billion-euro H2020 budget for health innovation. She regularly does public speaking including for a recent BBC series on data ethics for millennials.


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