Department of Business Development and Technology

Fabien Rezac

PhD Fellow, PhD Student

Fabien Rezac

About Fabien's PhD project: Investigating Data-Driven Business Models & Ecosystems in the Context of Privacy 

Recently, due to the exponential technological development, the humanity found itself standing on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The biological, physical and digital worlds are gradually fusing and people have never been so close to technology before. The numbers are staggering and barely imaginable. In fact, each of us is now a walking data generator. The data-driven technologies have significantly impacted the way of how business is conducted and companies started to innovate their business models through digitalization. The importance of leveraging data for the commercial purpose is so far-reaching, that some even call it data capitalism. Companies now co-specialize through creating bonds that promote collaboration without excluding competition and form business ecosystems that gradually take over the world. Without exaggeration, literally every aspect of the business landscape has radically shifted and besides the undoubtable ubiquitous benefits, the exponential data-driven progress encompasses number of substantial concerns, with privacy being one of the most critical. The power of digital became so promising that organizations started to abuse the customers’ personal data, capitalize on them and use them without their permission or awareness – on a massive scale.

The notorious scandals of data-mining tech behemoths have drawn attention to the colossal imbalance of profit and privacy. Despite the regulatory mechanisms being employed, it is apparent that the digital business models of many precedent-setting companies practically stand upon the premise of exploiting personal data and mitigation through external intervention can be ineffective or even counterproductive for innovation. Moreover, the newly redefined status quo of competition dominated by technology platforms only emphasizes the infamous trade-off between customers’ security, convenience and privacy, a fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. According to Tim Berners-Lee himself, the current form of internet basically suffers from two key myths – “advertising is the only possible business model for online companies” and that “it is too late to change the way platforms operate”. Since it is time to stop applying intrusive techniques and find a safer way to develop business, an extensive ecosystem of decentralized open-source disruptors tackles the incompatibility of the current Web environment with technological solutions centred around human-centric principles of privacy. Nonetheless, technology by itself has no single objective value - the privacy-by-default commercial alternatives need to embrace sustainable business models and secure their roles in competitive ecosystems in order to ensure viability of the technology that has a chance to disrupt the unsustainable state of affairs per se.

Through a series of research articles, Fabien’s PhD project contributes to the state-of-the-art research enquiry by investigating how privacy-centric focus impacts the business model development and innovation of companies, what are the characteristics of their current ecosystems and how can they sustainably enhance privacy while achieving competitiveness.

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  • 7th World Open Innovation Conference

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation af a conference

  • Platform Leaders 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation of workshop, seminar or course

  • GAIA-X Summit

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation af a conference

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