Data Protection and Privacy: (In)visibilities and Infrastructures

Volume 36 of the series Law, Governance and Technology Series pp 139-161


A Purpose-Based Taxonomy for Better Governance of Personal Data in the Internet of Things Era: The Example of Wellness Data

  • Claire Levallois-BarthAffiliated withTelecom ParisTech/SESInstitut Mines-Telecom Email author 
  • , Hugo ZylberbergAffiliated withTelecom ParisTech/SESInstitut Mines-Telecom

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Tomorrow, the rise of the Internet of Things will allow us to collect and process a growing amount of real-time data related to our body. This phenomenon will unlock new opportunities both in health- and non-health-related sectors but also challenge the frontiers of what we used to consider private. Beyond these frontiers, not all data is created with the same level of sensitivity and risk, and we propose a new taxonomy based on purpose rather than anticipated sensitivity of the personal data collected. We believe this new taxonomy can help companies govern data flows in a way that strikes a better balance between the protection of personal data, drawing examples from both the European Union and the United States regulatory context, and research and innovation opportunities as well as incentivizes them to develop more user-centric business models. In the end, a better governance of personal data can help citizens become more responsible for the choices they make.


Personal data Health data Internet of things Quantified self User-centric models