Access to and Ownership of Data to Tackle Covid-19: Some Lessons (IP) Law Should Learn for Good

The fight against the coronavirus needs (big) data to orient decision making and healthcare policies. Researchers, private organizations, and non-research public bodies process large amounts of (non-personal) data which can tackle the pandemic in various ways. These datasets proved crucial to address issues of public interest such as the Covid-19 pandemic (‘privately & publicly collected data’, ‘PPCD’). During the Covid19 crisis, two main tendencies have emerged in this respect. On the one hand, those data management systems resting on (access) barriers that restrict data access. Conversely, an alternative data management system is founded on open data access approaches valuing data availability amongst a wide number of actors.

This contribution aims to describe and assess the two data management systems concerning SRD and PPCD. Accordingly, it concludes with some policy arguments on the role of IP and other areas of law as to fostering data access for public interest purposes.