Governing Data and AI to Protect Inner Freedoms Includes a Role for IP

Policy Brief No. 7

February 5, 2024

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has caught regulators everywhere by surprise. Its ungoverned and growing ubiquity is similar to that of the large digital platforms that play an important role in the work and personal lives of billions of individuals worldwide. These platforms rely on advertising revenue dependent on user data derived from numerous undisclosed sources, including through covert tracking of interactions on digital platforms, surveillance of conversations, monitoring of activity across platforms and acquisition of biometric data through immersive virtual reality games, just to name a few.

This complex milieu creates a suite of public policy challenges. One of the most important yet least explored is the intersection of intellectual property (IP), data governance, AI and the platforms’ underlying business model. The global scale, the quasi-monopolistic dominance enjoyed by the large platforms, and their control over data and data analytics have explicit implications for fundamental human rights, including freedom of thought.

Giuseppina D’Agostino and Robert Fay explore these challenges and propose potential solutions by examining the dynamic interplay among IP, data governance and platform business models.

About the Authors

Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino is a CIGI senior fellow and an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is the founder and director of IP Osgoode, the Intellectual Property Law and Technology Program at Osgoode.

Bob is managing director of digital economy at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), where he leads a network of researchers focused on the intersection of technology, trade, innovation and governance.