Project on Principles for a Data Economy Meeting in New York (USA)


From 15–16 February 2018, the Project Group on the Principles for a Data Economy held a meeting at premises of the New York University School of Law. This Project, executed in cooperation with the American Law Institute (ALI), is led by Christiane Wendehorst on the ELI’s side and by Neil Cohen on the ALI’s side as Reporters.

ELI Exectuive Committee Member Lord John Thomas and Steven Weise act as co-chairs. Among the attendees of the New York meeting on the ELI’s side were also Sjef van Erp, ELI Vice-President, and Radim Polčák.

This Project meeting took place after it had been adopted by the ELI Council on 9 February in Vienna, and by the ALI Projects Committee and the ALI Council earlier in January 2018.

The Project aims to produce a set of transnational Principles that can facilitate the drafting of model agreements or provisions to be used on a voluntary basis by parties in the data economy. They can also be used as a source of inspiration and guidance for courts and legislators worldwide. Because data does not have a ‘location,’ the goal would be to have a common set of Principles that would apply wherever the parties happen to be.

The Project will study, identify and collate the existing and potential legal rules applicable to transactions in data as an asset and as a tradeable item and assess the ‘fit’ of those rules with these transactions.

From October 2016 to February 2018 a Feasibility Study for the project was carried out, resulting, inter alia, in a Draft Framework for Discussion, which was presented at the 2017 ELI Annual Conference. The Feasibility Study was generously supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

During the meeting in New York, the Project Group discussed comments on the Draft Framework, as well as the scope, design and work plan of the ALI-ELI Instrument on Principles for a Data Economy.

Find out more about this Project here.