EU-Project DataVaults

A platform for secure and fair sharing of personal data

Jan. 01, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022

Online shopping, streaming movies, chatting on Socialnet or simply being on the go with our smartphones - with every action we take with our computers and cell phones, we also leave behind personal data on the web. A valuable asset - but most people carelessly hand over the rights to their data to online service providers. To make private individuals aware of how to handle their own data securely and give them the opportunity to retain ownership and control of their data, the European Union launched the DataVaults project in January 2020 under the project management of Fraunhofer FOKUS DPS. The goal of the project, which will initially run for three years, is to create a trustworthy, secure platform for personal data on the basis of which private individuals can decide for themselves to whom they give their data and under what conditions.

This is because a strong data economy is currently emerging in Europe: Both large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises have recognized the enormous value of large, personal data volumes (Bigdata), which can fundamentally change markets and business models. Currently, however, there is a lack of both secure platforms and data protection-oriented analysis methods. In the future, DataVaults will provide a platform that promotes the exchange of personal data between different stakeholders - data owners and data seekers - while establishing a fair value of the data for the benefit of all stakeholders: secure, trustworthy and privacy compliant. As an ever-growing “data ecosystem” based on smart contracts and mechanisms, DataVaults aims to enable individuals to share their personal data with companies or other interested parties at will, retain control over data use, and be appropriately compensated for it - while always protecting their privacy and data security.

The DataVaults project consortium consists of 17 partners from 10 European countries with expertise in data management and analytics as well as data security and protection. Fraunhofer Fokus DPS has taken over the coordinating project management of DataVaults and is additionally leading the following three sub-areas:

1. definition of the DataVaults Common Semantic Model as well as lifecycle management for personal data.

2. detailed architectural design of the DataVaults platform and components.

3. design and implementation of the components dealing with the collection, linking, transformation, indexing and publication of personal data.

The project also includes five demonstrators from different thematic areas, including Public Administration, Energy, Healthcare and Tourism.

DataVaults is funded by the European Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No. 871755.