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Data Sovereignty

AC Meeting March 2024 - Tech Topic

Pierre-Antoine Champin, W3C

Data Sovereignty:
a tentative definition

People and organizations remaining in control of their data.

“Their” data?

Hummel, P., Braun, M. & Dabrock, P. Own Data? Ethical Reflections on Data Ownership. Philos. Technol. 34, 545–572 (2021).

Data Sovereignty:
another tentative definition

People and organizations remaining in control of the data they create, store, publish, and share with others.

This concerns not only data that is intentionally created, but also data that is implicitly created, such as behavioral data captured when using a website or an application.


This is a broad topic that touches on many different domains. This is also something that can not be addressed by technical means only – part of the answer has to be social and/or regulatory. With this caveat, what role can W3C play in the next 30 years to increase data sovereignty for web users?

Related efforts


Invited talk by Leonard Rosenthol

Related efforts

The Data Tank

Data is Agency: We have to identify new ways to make self-determination in the digital age a reality.

Related efforts

Data Transfer Initiative

DTI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering technology users to transfer data from one service to another.

Related efforts

Decentralized Web Nodes

A Decentralized Web Node (DWN) is a data storage and message relay mechanism entities can use to locate public or private permissioned data related to a given Decentralized Identifier (DID).

Related efforts


It is a community (...) based on the principles of: owning your domain and using it as your primary online identity, publishing on your own site first (optionally elsewhere), and owning your content.

Related efforts

International Network on Digital Self-Determination

Our network connects different actors from around the world to consider how to apply Digital Self-Determination in real-life settings to inform both theory and practice

Related efforts


MyData is an alternative vision which offers guiding technical principles for how we, as individuals, can have more control over the data trails we leave behind in our everyday actions.

Related efforts


Solid is a specification that lets individuals and groups store their data securely in decentralized data stores called Pods. (...) When data is stored in a Pod, its owners control which people and applications can access it.

Invited Talk

Leonard Rosenthol

Introduction to content credentials

Thank you