The Global Brain Data Foundation: A Supplemental Initiative for Empowering Neurodata Use and Policy
By Ryan Triplette and Devon White
|Image courtesy of Pixabay
New and emerging consumer neurotechnologies hold great promise. They present a potential tool to understand and mitigate the mental impact on populations of stressful experiences, such as those endured during this unique period of time. Further, they hold the potential to support the development of personal and collective wellbeing; helping people to not only survive but thrive in their daily lives. However, while the clinical and wellness uses of neurotechnologies may give us indicators of their promise, their application in the consumer context is not yet fully known or understood.
|Image courtesy of Fresh Tilled Soil
The more dependent technology is on personal data, the greater the need for transparency and accountability to consumers. To realize its full market and societal potential, the consumer neurotechnology industry must develop a culture of trust and inclusion. Further, given the potential use of neurodata to influence personal behavior, we believe that concepts of consumer control and self-determination must be built into the core of any and all neurodata efforts to ensure that individuals have explicit control over their own brain and how it is influenced.
- Build the trust that is essential for the subsector’s social license to operate;
- Improve the basis of consumer knowledge regarding their rights and potential uses of neurodata;
- Establish best practices for the private and commercial use of neurodata that is crafted with an eye to future societal concerns, anticipating and protecting against negative events potentially impacting market growth; and
- Develop a single, secure, vast database accessible through a unified API that enables not only greater organizational collaboration but also, importantly, individual control over their data.
- Examples range from the use of brain imaging in the assessment and treatment of psychopathy to US military using brain imaging data to better understand the relationship between cognitive states and performance.
- Beyond those previously mentioned, commercial applications of neurodata to influence behavior have primarily focused on neuromarketing and increasing emotional intelligence of companies. However, looking further down the line, though, there is increasing interest in possibilities for human brain emulation.
- The implications of this potential for forensic psychiatry are already being examined in both the US and EU.
- Previous efforts to regulate personal data have focused primarily on the context in which it was collected; namely, in either medical or consumer environments. Despite their admirable intents, almost all efforts have resulted in unintended consequences when applied to developing technologies. The most notable of these are: (1) the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which has been amended a number of times since first enacted 20 years ago to address the strict limitations that it places on the commercial application of medical data and concerns about its impact on the adoption of new medical technologies; and (2) the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has been criticized for the sweeping application of informed consent requirements to collect massive amounts of personal data and disproportionate burdensome cost of compliance on small companies.
- To date, regulations have taken a highly paternalistic approach to data; assuming that the more personal the data, the more need to impose restrictions on its use. This approach has proven exceedingly difficult to apply in an exceedingly difficult to apply to AI-driven technologies, where the nature of what personal information is collected is unclear.
- This shift began a little over a year ago with a commitment by the Business Roundtable to stakeholder capitalism, an approach that has been led by the B Corp movement and supported by others in the business community.
- The Foundation is modeling its initial efforts on the ICANN multistakeholder model primarily due to the flexible approach that it has taken over the years to adapt to the needs of its community.
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Triplette, R. & White, D. (2021). The Global Brain Data Foundation: A Supplemental Initiative for Empowering Neurodata Use and Policy. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2021/01/the-global-brain-data-foundation.html