Can we trust trust-based data governance models?

Bart van der Sloot*, Esther Keymolen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Fiduciary agents and trust-based institutions are increasingly proposed and considered in legal, regulatory, and ethical discourse as an alternative or addition to a control-based model of data management. Instead of leaving it up to the citizen to decide what to do with her data and to ensure that her best interests are met, an independent person or organization will act on her behalf, potentially also taking into account the general interest. By ensuring that these interests are protected, the hope is that citizens’ willingness to share data will increase, thereby allowing for more data-driven projects. Thus, trust-based models are presented as a win–win scenario. It is clear, however, that there are also apparent dangers entailed with trust-based approaches. Especially one model, that of data trusts, may have far-reaching consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalData & Policy
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022


  • control
  • data governance
  • data steward
  • fiduciary
  • trust


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