Health and Technology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 519–537 | Cite as

A Linked Democracy Approach for Regulating Public Health Data

  • Pompeu CasanovasEmail author
  • Danuta Mendelson
  • Marta Poblet
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Privacy and Security of Medical Information


This article addresses the problem of constructing a public space to build sustainable data ecosystems for the biomedical field. It outlines three models of democracy —deliberative, epistemic, and linked— where privacy and data protection can be explored in connection with the existing ethical frameworks for Public Health Data, and the Theory of Justice. For the construction of a sustainable public space, it suggests exploring the analytical dimension of Linked Democracy, and the need for building new tools to regulate ‘Linked Open Data’, based on rule of law and the analytical dimension of the meta-rule of law. The construction of ‘intermediate’ or ‘anchoring’ institutions would help in embedding the protections of the rule of law into specific ecosystems (including direct, indirect and tactic modelling of privacy by design).


Linked democracy Privacy by design Meta-rule of law Web of data Electronic health records Identity 



Law and Policy Program of the Australian government funded Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre (; Meta-Rule of Law DER2016-78108-P, Research of Excellence, Spain. In Figure 1, we used icons from the Noun Project: the group icon was created by Gregor Cresnar, the piled data icon by IcoDots, and the the mobile device icon by Vildana.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre (D2D CRC Ltd., ABN 45168769677; Project DC160051-Integrated Policing: End User Evaluation. DER2016-78108-P. While the support of the Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre is acknowledged, the views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Centre.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study (not applicable).


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© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Law and Technology (IDT), Faculty of LawAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Law and Policy Program: Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre and La Trobe Law SchoolLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Key Independent Researcher, formerly Chair in Law (Research)School of Law Deakin UniversityMelbourne, AustraliaAustralia
  4. 4.Graduate School of Business and LawRoyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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