Intellectual Property Law

Legal Guide to Data Ownership

This article will provide a basic introduction to what data ownership means and why this is such an important issue for all of us.

Data ownership is a hot topic in the digital age. As the internet grows, so do our concerns about who owns what data and how it can be used. This article will provide a basic introduction to what data ownership means and why this is such an important issue for all of us. We’ll also address some misconceptions surrounding data ownership and offer some solutions for protecting information online.

What is Data Ownership

Data ownership is the legal right to control who can use, modify, or share your data. Data includes anything that you have generated and stored in digital form: pictures, videos, text messages, conversations, emails — even if it’s something as simple as a tweet on Twitter or an email address from Gmail.

It also includes information about what others are saying about us online (such as our contact info) and any other publicly available record of how we spend our time. Data ownership can even include intellectual property rights like copyrights and patents.

Why Data Ownership is Important

The right to data ownership is important because it enables individuals and companies to use, modify or share personal information with the appropriate parties.

Without this ability, our privacy would be threatened by those who want access to our private information for commercial purposes. Advertisers are looking for ways to target us with ads based on what we buy online. Employers are screening potential employees/contractors. Marketers are tracking how often we visit different sites to determine what they should offer us next.

It may also result in identity theft when sensitive details about ourselves are stolen from one place then used elsewhere without permission — like a hacker accessing your credit card number.

3 Misconceptions About Data Ownership

There are a few misconceptions about data ownership that everyone should be aware of, whether you collect customer information for your own online business or have your data collected by other websites.

Data Ownership Only Deals with Private Data and not Public Data

First, data ownership deals with both private data and public data. Privacy is about the personal information you reveal to others no matter where it comes from.

Whoever Creates the Data Owns the Data

Just because you own the data doesn’t mean you own it outright. You still need to follow rules that protect consumer privacy.

A Data Owner Can do Anything with their Data

Finally, just because you own online data doesn’t mean you can do anything with it. You still have to understand how consumer privacy laws might restrict how you can use your data.

How to Protect Online Data and Information

First, be aware of social media privacy policies: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have privacy policies that update with little to no warning. Be sure you understand how they will use your account information if it’s shared on these sites.

Next, you can protect your information online by installing a VPN or virtual private network. This software hides data as it is transmitted over the internet and makes it difficult for hackers to steal any of your details.

You can also use encrypted email providers such as ProtonMail, which encrypts all messages sent between users with keys only they know.


Data ownership is a serious issue. It’s essential to understand how it works and what you can do to protect yourself, your company, and most importantly, your customers. The more you know how data ownership works, the better you will protect yourself and your customers from online threats such as malware or identity theft.


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