Matteo Nebbiai

Thesis Title:

Building digital markets: the impact of voluntary regulation on the personal data economy


The project explores the standards and rules voluntarily created and adopted by organizations to establish forms of personal data circulation. Some examples are data pools, data portability partnerships and private standard certifications. These initiatives are analysed as forms of private regulation that promote the institutionalisation of the personal data economy. In particular, the research attempts to answer the following questions: which data circulation models are enabled by such initiatives? Which types of actors are promoting them? Why did these regulatory schemes emerge? Studying the regulation of personal data circulation appears fruitful for two reasons. Firstly, personal data circulation directly affects a growing portion of the modern economy. The architecture of the personal data economy conditions the transaction costs entity for data exchange and governance of standards is crucial to balance the benefits of innovation and competition. Secondly, the transnational regulation of the personal data economy impacts the accountability of governance systems and affects the application of personal data rights. For instance, private regulation may affect domestic policies establishing data protection standards at the national level.

Social media:

First Supervisor:

Dr. Christel Koop


Pathway 13: Politics, Public Policy & Governance




“Intermediaries do matter: voluntary standards and the Right to Data Portability.” Nebbiai, M.(2022). Intermediaries do matter: voluntary standards and the Right to Data Portability. Internet Policy Review 11.2 (2022).